The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol


Raising 7 Kids While HIV Positive, and Why It Takes a Village

November 15, 2014

 1  |  2  |  Next > 
Whitney Kyle and family

Whitney Kyle and family

Whitney Kyle always knew he wanted to be a father. Through a combination of adoption and foster parenting, he was able to see that come true -- with seven children! Now 65 years old, Whitney looks back at his time parenting, talks about his policies on openness and honesty, and discusses the three children who currently live with him -- and why they must all go to school.

This interview was conducted along with Brian Rosenberg, CEO of Gays With Kids. is proud to present this interview as part of a series of interviews with HIV-positive dads done in collaboration with Gays With Kids for World AIDS Day 2014.

Mathew Rodriguez: Whitney, had you always wanted to a father, growing up? Was that a role that you saw yourself having?

Whitney Kyle: It was, yes.

Mathew Rodriguez: What do you remember, when you were young, about wanting to be a father?

Whitney Kyle: I was aware that I was gay from an early age, but I still dreamed of being a father with kids. It was just part of the list of things I wanted in life.

Mathew Rodriguez: When you were first diagnosed as positive, after you dealt with everything that comes with your diagnosis, did you think about what it meant for your hopes of becoming a parent? Did that ever come into your mind?

Whitney Kyle: Actually, my partner and I were looking into adopting a girl from China. But then, when he became ill, that was postponed. We didn't know which direction it was going to go. And his health just went down.

By the time that I was diagnosed myself, with full-blown AIDS, I figured it was just not going to happen.


Brian Rosenberg: And, Whitney, you've been positive for about 20 years?

Whitney Kyle: Right. HIV for 20 years. But the AIDS diagnosis came in 2001.

I found out in '95 that I was HIV positive.

Brian Rosenberg: Well, I'd say that still makes you a trailblazer.

Whitney Kyle: Thank you.

Mathew Rodriguez: Can you walk us through, really quickly, how many kids you have, and what their ages are?

Whitney Kyle: I went through a total of seven kids, five of which became mine. But currently, in the house, I just have three. The first kid I got when he was 9 years old, and got guardianship for him when he was 13, and adopted him at 14. He's currently 17, and he'll be 18 in February.

Then the second kid I got was through Department of Social Services [DSS]. I knew her parents. Her parents were busted by CPS [Child Protective Services] and I went to court and got custody of her. And then I became a licensed foster parent.

Then my third kid was a friend of my two kids who was having problems with his mom. So I took him in when he was 14. And he's still here. He'll be 18 in June.

Then my fourth kid, I've known him since he was 13. He's a full gay kid. He moved in a year and a half ago. He's currently also 17.

And then I have one more kid who came into my home right after turning 18. He actually this morning flew out to live with his parents, because he couldn't find a good job here.

So those are the five. Currently at home are three 17-year-olds -- one gay, one bisexual, one straight.

 1  |  2  |  Next > 

More From This Resource Center

Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?

Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients

Related Stories

Fatherhood First, Then Coming Out as Gay and HIV Positive
For One HIV-Positive Dad, a Journey Through Science and Surrogacy
A Best Friends' Pact Leads to a New Life for One HIV-Positive Dad
A Baby, an HIV-Positive Diagnosis and a Breakup -- All in One Month
Going for Fatherhood After an HIV Diagnosis Brings Doubt
World AIDS Day 2014: Features & News

This article was provided by TheBody.

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.