Disclosing to My Son

katie06's picture

I told my son that I am HIV positive. It didn't go quite as I imagined. I had pictured him older and under different circumstances. But the opportunity presented itself and I followed through. 

My son just turned 7 years old. He has been begging for a brother, nearly every day. He says it is boring being an only child and he wants someone to play with. I've tried different answers with him to no avail. I've even tried the route of explaining that he'd have to share his toys – still didn't care – he wants a brother to play with.

I've explained many times that Dad and I cannot have any more children. In fact, my husband recently had a vasectomy – so there are definitely no more children in our future. I've tried to explain this under 7 year old terms, but he doesn't fully understand. 

After driving home from a friend's house with my son, he again asked for a brother. I turned down the radio and once again explained that Mommy and Daddy couldn't have any more children. I then explained that when I was pregnant with him, I learned that I was sick. During my pregnancy, I had to take medicine to make sure he didn't get what I had. Then after he was born, I gave him medicine to ensure he didn't get what I had. My son then asked the question…"What did you have?" I wasn't sure how to respond…after all he's 7. But I pulled myself together and said "I have HIV."

During my pregnancy, they also discovered cervical cancer. I had several surgeries following my pregnancy to remove the cancerous cells, which left me with an incomplete cervix. The doctors advised that I would likely have difficulty carrying a child due to this. With our newly found health issues, my husband and I put off having another child for a while (plus no one tells you the cost of childcare could pay a second mortgage)!

By the time my husband and I came to terms with our health and we thought we could afford another child it was too late. We tried for a while to have another child, but were not successful. We considered it God's plan and were thankful for having one beautiful, healthy child.     

My heart hurts a little each time my son asks for a brother. But I also know that I am fortunate to have the one I have. While it may not have been my plan to have one child, it must have been God's plan…and I am grateful.




Thank you for sharing this experience

Lovinglife101's picture

I do not have any children as I was diagnosed many moons ago and it did not seem like an option for me.  It was very difficult and I cried every time I saw a pregant women.  I still cry.  I am older now and have been living with HIV for too many years.  The medications, the fear, and the pain have stopped me from ever fulfilling my dream of having children.  As I write this the tears run down my face.  I will never feel the joy of having my own child.  I will never have a child who calls me mommie.  Many people tell me to adopt, however, it is not the same and could be a difficult road to travel due to my medical condition.  The state I live it once banned people living with HIV from adopting children.  I am not sure if this is true today but I am in no position in my life to adopt - maybe later.

It took a great deal of courage to tell your son.  Thanks again for sharing your strength and courage with the rest of us.

Love you.


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