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Parent's Rejection
Mar 13, 1997

My sister and fiance recently told his parents that she was HIV+. They have been sympathetic but are against the marriage. They send articles with notes about contacting HIV no matter how careful one may be. They say marriage is for pro-creation and since my sister won't have any children, they state the marriage would be a waste of life for their son. How does one get through to a parent's rejection of a happy loving relationship of two people when one of them is HIV+?

Response from Rev. Pieters

These parents seem to prefer living their lives ruled by fear rather than by facts. There are many couples like your sister and her fiance, where one is HIV positive and the other is not. I don't know the exact statistics, but I do know that it is not uncommon for sero-different couples like this to remain sero-different. The couple can have a happy, fulfilling, healthy sex life using safer sex techniques, and the HIV negative member can remain negative. Of course, there are no guarantees. Safer sex is not 100% fool-proof. But life is not 100% fool-proof. Does that mean we stop living, or driving, or flying? As to marriage being for pro-creation, that is a ridiculous argument. What of all the couples who have never had children? Are their marriages not valid? Does a married couple lose their marriage license if they haven't pro-created in a specified amount of time? Are these parents of your sister's fiance going to tell Bob and Elizabeth Dole that their marriage is a sham since they haven't (and no doubt won't) have children? Furthermore, women who are HIV positive have been having babies since the pandemic began. The babies of HIV positive women were never all born with HIV, and now with treatment advances, it is possible to block the transmission of HIV from mother to child. Yes, it is possible for a woman with HIV to give birth to a healthy child with a full life expectancy. And if they really don't want children, who decreed that being childless is a waste of life? There are millions of people all over the world who never have children for a wide variety of reasons. Are all these people useless? Of course not. The arguments being used against your sister and her fianc‚ are based in ignorance and fear. I believe that love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Don't let those parents' fear destroy this couple's love. It should be just the opposite: let their love destroy the fear. Get the facts and fight the fear.

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