Children are clay in the trusted hands of a human creator, loaned to us for a small moment in this space we consume. (Let’s understand first, I will not be striving for political correctness.) I had a conversation last night that sparked real concern and possible ways to more solutions to kicking the shit out of stigma. Starting with adults teaching that even by omittance is to stigmatize when it's such a secret to be living with HIV.
Damn, most people keep medical personal. However, this virus is preventable, and we must talk openly. I hate that it’s just ‘gramma takes these pills, don't touch them’. Will they learn to be angry or make fun of people living with HIV? Will they walk away from me from fear?
I do not feel I am allowed to educate my grandchildren. Facts first, back to being given the opportunity to mold and teach, to guide, love, help up, over and above. They are not my children. However, being a person of a positive status, I do recommend a few things to everyone. Don't stigmatize ourselves. Teach our children people are different. Everyone has a cross to bear; whether you understand it or not is up to you. No one is the same; that's what makes each of us special.
Back to the thoughts I was thinking this afternoon. I would love to tug my preteen granddaughter’s ear (and her friends’, whom those who know her, know what I mean - children here, no details). Like in the video I watched, it’s amazing to see them come on board to want to know. Ok… back up again... There are children who were born with a positive diagnosis. How do they handle the pressures of this disease and stigma? My heart breaks to think what they must go through. I saw the video in which a few children were able to meet a real person living with HIV. I thought how freaking amazing. I was just thinking this is so important. If we get to them young it may help with adults and their stigmatizing of self. Let’s have the simplicity of children and see with our hearts.