We are all familiar with the stigma of HIV, whether it's from experience, hearing or reading about it. We all know what it is. One would think people would have stopped being prejudice towards those infected by this virus.
All children look up to their parents and the parent is their super hero. We as parents can never do any wrong in our children's eyes. We want our children to hold us up in high regard. This picture changes as they grow up and realize that parents are just normal human beings, they are not as perfect as they thought.
As children grow up they ask questions and realize that the world is not as perfect as they thought. Everyday our children are bombarded with information about HIV and AIDS. They are told about this disease at school. There's no escaping this topic, not unless one lives under a rock. Children know that it's a dreadful disease. They might not know the fine details but they know that it's not a pleasant thing to have.
This then begs the question, when do you as a parent tell your children that you have this disease? When is the right time to disclose to your children? Is there such a thing as the right time when it comes to telling your children about this? Your children aren't going to say "okay mommy or okay daddy". This will bring a streamline of questions, which you need to be well prepared for. This is the one thing you can never be well prepared for. The questions will be simple but the answers are very difficult. How did you get it? This is one question you cant answer with "I don't know." I cant imagine the flood of questions that will follow, like "Can I get it from you Mommy?"
It wont matter whether your children are teenagers or adults. It would seem easy to explain to a 14 year old than a 23 year old but I think it's more difficult when your child is an adult. Disclosing to your child would be like baring your soul to them or being naked in front of them. There's just no easy way to do it. You cant keep this away from them as you wont be able to hide it from them forever. Some people might say it's easier not to disclose to children but I disagree. I feel that as a parent you owe to your children to tell them the truth.
This will give them a better understanding of what you're going through. They will be better prepared should you start to get ill. They will also have a good example why they should do everything in their might to protect themselves from HIV and AIDS. How do you explain to them so that they don't judge you or give you the look of disappointment?
It's not going to be an easy conversation like the birds and the bees but it's very crucial that you have this talk with your children. Difficult as it is, it has to be done.
Parenting is not easy especially when HIV and AIDS is in the mix.