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HIV-Positive Dads Discuss Fatherhood: A Spotlight Series

November 2014

HIV-Positive Dads Discuss Fatherhood: A Spotlight Series

ABOUT THIS SERIES: They're gay. They're living with HIV. And they love their kids. We're talking, of course, about the group of HIV-positive fathers highlighted in TheBody.com's latest spotlight series. Whether it be through adoption, foster parenting or biological conception, there are many ways to be an HIV-positive dad. There are even more ways to create a family. Some HIV-positive dads were gracious enough to let us into their lives and discuss what their children have done for their lives, and offer their best advice for other potential fathers. This series was done in partnership with GaysWithKids.com, a website dedicated to gay men who are navigating fatherhood.

Paul Constantino came out in the early '80s, when HIV did not yet have a name. He has since navigated coming out to his children as a gay man, and coming out to his children as HIV positive. He's even come out as gay to his 13-year-old granddaughter!
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Richard "Rick" Nadan is the father of four kids -- Keith and Savannah are both 7, while Calista and Elizabeth are both two-and-a-half. Rick found out that he was HIV positive 10 days after his first surrogate was impregnated. What followed was a crazy journey with different doctors who had different opinions. However, after the first set of twins, Rick went on to father a second set of twins -- again with a surrogate.
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The first thing that came to Justin B. Terry-Smith's mind when he was diagnosed was that his chances of being a dad were gone. Now, as the father of a nearly 18-year-old boy, he discusses how his determination to be a father led him to where he is today. The winner of Mr. Maryland Leather 2010 also discusses how being a father has made him more "careful" in his life -- depending on your definition.
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Steven Brandt thought he'd have enough kids to fill a whole remake of the movie Grease. Instead, he and his best friend made a pact to have a kid together, because they always knew they'd be in each other's lives. In a lot of ways, Steven says his 6-year-old son, Jerryd, made him change his life and grow up fast -- in the best way.
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There's a saying that life only gives us what we can handle. For Greg Guelda, his life was completely changed one December when he adopted a child, despite splitting up with his longtime partner. Only a month after the adoption, he was celebrating his daughter's first birthday and having to deal with an HIV diagnosis. In a way, he lucked out: Had he found out his status before the adoption, Greg never would have had Ruby, his daughter, who is now 7 years old. As a single parent, Greg's life has been changed in so many great ways by Ruby.
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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, at 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.
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