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Kids & HIV
Nov 22, 2011

My daughter a grade-school aged and I recently found out that a friend of hers is HIV positive. Her friend was infected with HIV from her biological mother at birth. Her biological mother later passed away and she was adopted. I have discussed with my daughter that if she is bleeding or her friend is bleeding, they shouldn't be in contact with each other (i.e. they should let the adults at the school deal with the situation), but I am still worried because she is the light of my life and I don't want anything to endanger her. Am I worrying needlessly? Is there anything else I need to be concerned with? Should I discuss anything else with my daughter to ensure she is safe? The girls do many things together including sleepovers, summer camp, swimming, sports, etc.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

Thanks for writing in. I wouldn't say that you are worrying needlessly. You are just being cautious, which is understandable. In normal interactions, there is nothing to worry about. Even if your daughter's friend fell down, scraped a knee, and started bleeding you would not have to be worried for your daughters safety. There would be no imminent danger. HIV needs a portal of entry into the body i.e. sharing needles, or sexual contact (unprotected penetrative anal, or vaginal sex). Just being near a person's HIV infected blood is not a risk, but telling her to let teachers deal with any bleeding, should it occur, is a safe bet!

I applaud you for letting your daughter be friends with this girl. You are teaching your child tolerance; you can be sure that not all parents share your view.

Bottom line: You do not have to worry. You can let the girls play together without worry.

In health, Richard



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