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I have a student with AIDS
Dec 17, 2008

Hello everyone. I'm here because I found out today that one student in my school is infected with HIV/AIDS.

Please understand that I'm not here to spread prejudice or anything, I just don't really know how to deal with this news, so please take no offense if I say something that sounds wrong. Please.

I teach english in a primary school (1st and 2nd grade) and (fortunately) the kids seem to really like me and they always try to talk to me, play with me, and it makes really happy to be able to bond with children so easily.

However there is this one girl that always tries to be near me, holds my hand, likes to hug me and all, and in my innocence, that behaviour seems quite normal to me, since most children are often needy. It's my first year teching so I'm still getting used to how this works, and I don't know if it's a bad thing to bond with my students out of the classroom, but in my mind that's perfectly acceptable. However, I was told today by another teacher that this girl I mentioned above is an AIDS patient. My immediate reaction was to freak out and to be totally shocked at the same time.

I'm a bit worried because this little girl is always trying to talk to me, hug me, hold my hand and talk to me... but my problem is due to the fact that I wasn't aware of her condition before, so I didn't really worry about the possibilty of her having cuts in her hands or any other thing. In true honesty, it never really crossed my mind any kid in that school would have AIDS. It's not that it doesn't happen, you just really don't think about it.

So I think I'm going a bit paranoid about this, because as I were unaware of this girl's condition I never really took any precautions, but now all I can think about is "what if in one of the times she hugged me, held my hand, ect, she had an open cut or wound and passed blood to me"? I'm worried because I bite my nails, I wear contact lenses... I know I must really sound paranoid right now... I just want to know if I really put myself in any risky situation when I was not aware of this poor girl's awful condition. And what precautions should I take from now on.

PS: Is a test recommended?

Cheers, everyone

hope you understand

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your worries are completely unwarranted. HIV is not transmitted via casual contact. Certainly HIV testing is not recommended! What is recommended is that you thoroughly read the information in the chapter "HIV/AIDS Basics" on this Web site. As a teacher, please note you have a good deal of remedial work to do on the subject of HIV/AIDS!

Stop worrying and give that kid a warm hug!

Dr. Bob



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