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Disclosure of hiv
Jun 8, 2008

We are in the process of adopting a child overseas with Hiv. He is 3.5 years old. I have a few questions for you. 1. We live in Arkansas. Who do we legally have to disclose his status to? I can not find info anywhere. 2. He is currently on KALETRA, EPIVIR, VIDEX and his most recent rna was negative (o) and his cd4 was around 500. The hiv specialist here(he only sees adults) was very concerned at the meds he was on at this age and said that this might show resistance. He is healthy and rarely ever gets sick from what I have been told. Any thoughts on these meds and numbers? 3. Are you aware of any support online for adoptive moms of hiv positive children? I am coming up blank everywhere I turn? 4. Will his passport be labeled as him having hiv? I worry about future travel.

Thanks so very much for taking time to answer my questions. Finding this site was an answered prayer.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Wow. I can answer part of this. I trust you're taking him to a pediatrician who specializes in HIV or infectious disease so that you can get him the best care for his HIV. I'm not qualified to comment on question 2.

You do not have to disclose his diagnosis to anyone beyond his health care providers. If you want to disclose to his school at some point because you need their help with administering meds, then schedule a private meeting with the principal and make it clear in the meeting that:

1. Your child's HIV poses a threat to no one at the school.

2. Your child's medical information is confidential and must not be shared or put in any file that others can read.

3. You are informing the principal only because your child needs to take meds at specific times.

4. There is no need to alert the classroom teacher to the diagnosis. If the classroom teacher does become involved in administering meds, s/he must be informed that s/he cannot share that information or the names of the meds with anyone. Medical information is confidential. Period. The HIPAA fines for violating this are stiff.

5. You need to be reassured that the school's staff receives training in first aid and how to handle human blood in light of bloodborne pathogens that other children's parents may or may not have disclosed.

Your question about a support group for parents of HIV-positive children is a great one. Please send me an email at the nbreuer@workpositive.com address so that I can reply when I contact the physician I know who is the adoptive parent of an HIV-positive child. Remind me of your question on TheBody and that I asked you to send me a private email. This program blocks your email address, so I can't respond except in this forum, and I don't have an answer at the moment.

I'm not aware that his passport will be marked in any way. The future limits on travel will be determined by policies in individual countries. Some (including the US, I'm embarrassed to tell you) limit travel by HIV+ people, but one hopes that by the time your son can travel around the world, most of the world will have entered the 21st century on this--even us. Those travel restrictions do change, and are found at the Website of the US Department of State.



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