What was your experience telling the children in your life about your HIV status?

Karen's Answer

Telling my children about my HIV status was surrounded by a lot of chaos and betrayal. I had just come home from spending over a decade in prison and my mother had passed away while I was incarcerated. My children were very young when I went in and they were very young when I came out. During a disagreement with some family members my status was blurted out to my children. My daughter at the time had only known of the elementary version of what HIV was and she was my oldest. I immediately took my children to the nearest park and explained to them what was said in the heat of an argument and what it meant for us. My children have been my number ONE supporters ┬ásince finding out. However the feelings of betrayal ran deep. Not only was someone trying to use my status to hurt me, but to also hurt my children. NO CHILD wants to believe that their mother is going to die. The hope in all of this is that as the result of openness and honesty, education and communication, me and my children have taken power away from anyone that thinks they can use my status to hurt us. My fear of my children not wanting to be with me because of my status was completely unfounded and could not be further from the TRUTH. They LOVE ME UNCONDITIONALLY! It’s been over 17 years since they were told and they have been two of the greatest advocates, educators, and activist the fight against HIV could have imagined because we as a family have come to know that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! and TRUE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE CONQUERS ALL!


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