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kat01
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia USA
Need Help with Childs questions
      #244981 - 03/14/09 04:41 PM

I have to talk to my niece about her recent diagnoses. She is 12 yrs old.He mother cannot talk to her about it because she is dealing with her own recent diagnoses and is several states away recouperating from an additonal illness..I need help in answering questions like "am I going to die now?" "Can I have a baby?" "Can I have a boyfriend?", And how do I explain her CD4 and viral load to her so that she can understand... Thank you for all your help

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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: Need Help with Childs questions new
      #244986 - 03/16/09 12:21 PM

Its my experience that children at age 12 can understand just about anything you care to explain to them.
If you are experiencing problems explaining things to your neice perhaps you need help. If you dont understand these things about HIV very well, there are lessons to read here at The Body.
Your neice must have a doctor. Thats where education should start...and then what about a social worker or counselor.?
Perhaps the doctor can recommend one.
Good luck.


--------------------
6 ft tall poz bear in Philadelphia

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kat01
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia USA
Re: Need Help with Childs questions new
      #244989 - 03/16/09 08:26 PM

Thank you for the information Bear60.I will continue to read the post and articles on this site.So far this is the only place that has answered some of my questions. She has a doctor but the problem is that there are only about 6 or 7 kids her age that are + in this area so the information around here is sparce at best. And what she has gotten is really medical and above her head and the local library has books but they deal with children in Africa and are not very specific in their answers.I went to the bookstore and they had only 1 book and it was for adults.But i will continue my search for the answers that I need.. Which in essence educates me better...Thanks again..

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relius78
Newbie

Reged: 03/19/09
Posts: 2
Re: Need Help with Childs questions new
      #245012 - 03/19/09 03:52 AM

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your niece's situation. It's not easy to understand all those numbers and lab reports when you're first diagnosed, no matter what age you are. She is very lucky to have someone in her life that will be there for her.

Now on to my suggestions...
I have been working with kids for the past 8 years and I think Bear is right, don't try to dumb it down for her just because she is 12. Kids can understand a lot more than we adults give them credit for a lot of the time. Find a book on coping with HIV (even if it's for adults) and let her read it at her own pace and make sure she knows that you want her to come to you or her doctor when she has question about anything she has read. You are likely to learn a lot in the process as well. Another important thing is not to be afraid of telling her that you don't know the answer to her question. It's a good opportunity to make the learning process productive for the both of you!

I wish you and your niece all the best of luck during this difficult time!
Much love!

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MyPetVirus
Newbie

Reged: 03/19/09
Posts: 1
Re: Need Help with Childs questions new
      #245020 - 03/19/09 08:55 PM

Hello,

I'm 33, and was diagnosed at age 11. According to my mother, I had the same questions you anticipate from your niece. I wondered if I could find love, have a family and also was concerned about my short-term health.

My advice is to focus on the tremendous leaps that medicine has made in regard to HIV treatment. Let her know that the virus "tries" to attack the immune system, but there are pills that prevent it from doing so. If she asks about having kids and finding love, remind her that lots of people have medical conditions- and that HIV is just another medical condition.

Females who are positive can and do have healthy children. And people with HIV can and do find loving partners.

What was most traumatic for me at that age, discovering that I was HIV positive, was that there were no treatments, yet I still had to go get blood work done to monitor my CD4 counts. It's probably good to explain from the beginning that everyone's CD4 (t-cells) counts fluctuate on a daily basis, but that it's important for people with HIV to have them checked.

12 is a transitional age- with or without HIV. The best thing to do is to frame it as a medical condition, help her be comfortable with the idea that she has a very long life ahead of her.

Again, a doctor will explain all these things. But she may block out the info from a stranger in a scary, unfamiliar situation. Take notes at the doctor's office, then make sure she understands it all when she's at home with you, a trusted relative.

Hope this helps!
Shawn

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kat01
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia USA
Re: Need Help with Childs questions new
      #245121 - 03/25/09 06:09 PM

Thank you for the information it was very helpful..

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kat01
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia USA
Re: Need Help with Childs questions new
      #245122 - 03/25/09 06:12 PM

Thank you for the information it was very helpful. I will continue to learn right along with her.

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