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What to tell my son...
Oct 19, 2005

I recently became extremely sick with fungal menengitis. I was feeling sick for the last 8 months but finally got to the point of losing my balance and went to the hospital. Test came back positive for HIV. Now its 3 months later, my CD 4 count is rising, I feel great, my viral load dropped from over 700,000 to 9,00. Im ready to fight this battle but I also have a 3 yr old son who asks me why I went to the doctor and was gone for 2 weeks. He asks me "Are you sick?" I say no but eventually I will have to address this to him. Any suggestions?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I recommend always being honest. That certainly doesn't mean you have to try to explain AIDS or fungal meningitis to your three-year old. You should, however, answer his specific questions truthfully, giving just the information he asked for and offering reassurance at the same time. For instance, if he asks, "Were you sick?" you could respond, "Yes, I was, but I'm better now." As he gets a bit older, he'll understand the concept of "germs" and the need for "medicines." (Like Grandma catching a cold and needing to take cough medicine, etc.) The thing to remember is that there is no need to provide more information than he asked for; however, he'll appreciate your honesty as the years go by. With proper treatment and your positive attitude to fight this battle, hopefully you'll have many, many, many of those years together.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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