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Camp and HIV+ child
Jun 3, 2005

Hi, I have been browsing your site and don't know where exactly to post my question. Your forum seemed to be the best fit.

When we adopted our daughter shortly after birth we knew she was HIV+. She is now 13 and has had absolutely no health problems. She has been on HAART since 1996 (maybe 1997?) with consistently undetectable viral load. Her CD 4 count was always within the normal range (of non-HIV children) but, as our doctor explained, naturally decreased since infancy. It is now 925 (42%). She is on once a day Truvada and Sustiva.

She desperately wants to go to camp this summer with her girlfriends (it is a 6 week camp). We are in quandary. The camp requires that all medication be dispensed through the camp nurse. Obviously none of her friends know about the HIV. We live in a very small suburban community and public knowledge of her condition would be devastating (we commute into the city for her HIV/pediatric care).

As I see it here are our options: 1) stop therapy for 6 weeks and disclose nothing to anyone and start up again after camp or 2) disclose to the camp and pray that there are no leaks and that the camp nurse doesnt freak out.

Option 1 scares me because I fear she will not get to undetectable again. Option 2 scares me because all it takes is one slip and her privacy is destroyed. What are your thoughts? Thanks, Stressed out mom

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

It sounds as if your daughter has been doing very well, so I would recommend that she continue her therapy. I understand your concerns regarding potential disclosure. However, as children with HIV have gotten older, many of the programs caring for them have developed lots of experience in helping parents with disclosure and in working with schools, camps, etc. to maintain medication schedules while assuring children's confidentiality. Please discuss this with your care providers -- they should be able to help you.


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