Positively Adopted

Life with children who have HIV

 

How have others responded to your child's HIV status?

"People have responded very well to disclosure. Education is key! We haven't experienced any negativity. "        -Debbie

"99% of the people in our lives have been supportive and accepting. The 1% was sad but entirely due to a lack of education. This convinced us even further to be a 'full disclosure' family. Spreading knowledge is the only way stigma will ever end." 

We've been amazed by people's reactions - overwhelmingly people have been supportive, loving and kind.  -Mary C.

Honesty I expected more resistance than we've received. The vast majority have been accepting of our child with HIV.  -Chantelle

Is stigma an issue anymore?

Most families have found the majority of the people in their communities to be accepting of their adopted child. 

However there is still work to be done. Many people still need to be educated about the advancements that have been made over the past 30 years in regards to HIV treatment.

In 2009 the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a study titled Survey of Americans About HIV/AIDS which found that levels of knowledge about HIV/AIDS had not increased in the US since 1987.

In the past "POLIO carried much of the same kinds of stigma as HIV does now. Even before we had an effective vaccine, we had improved knowledge and awareness, understanding of risk factors, compassion and support for those infected, and increased access to treatment. We have to get to the same place with AIDS." 
-AED Center on AIDS and Community Health

As people talk openly about the virus and its presence in their lives this will help to normalize the fact that people living with HIV are just like everyone else. 

"In the United States we're seeing that individuals are still weary of disclosing their HIV status for fear of being ostracized by their families or loved ones." 

- Frank Beadle de Palomo, senior vice president and director of the AED Center on AIDS & Community Health