Recently I saw on the news a wonderful story of a family here in CO that had adopted several HIV+ children from Uganda and other countries. They had educated themselves about the illness and adopted these kids one after another and now have quite the brood of children. Apparently they depend greatly on their faith as well. That's where the wonderful ended for me.
I have had HIV for 26 years and had made the decision for myself when I was 18 to keep my diagnosis to myself based on the kind of stigma and rejection I faced when I was diagnosed, from friends, family and "medical professionals".
Unfortunately this family has decided it’s ok to announce to the world that these children are HIV+ and to show their faces on national television. This disturbs me on several levels. They have removed these kids’ universal right to make their own decision as educated adults whether or not they want anyone, let alone the world, to know that they have HIV. They are also using these kids as the face of HIV as fundraising props. It raises the question of where are your morals? Do you possess any Ethics? These are children, not pets, or props. They are going to grow into adults and will someday want to make decisions and choices as adults. Unfortunately these "well meaning parents" have taken that freedom away for these children.
Or are they well meaning? Are they out for the "Fame" and "attention" that comes from saving disadvantaged children with HIV from 3rd world countries?? Is this the new "popular trend"?? It seems to me that plenty of people do the good deed without announcing to the world that’s what they've done, and they certainly don't need to go on television and show the faces of these children to the world. So for me personally, these people have destroyed the lives of innocent children, while disguising themselves as heroes. I would ask myself: am I using another soul to improve my status in life, on any level?
I am deeply disturbed about this family, these people. I wonder if they even think these children will survive to adulthood to make their own choices. I have news for them, these kids have a long healthy life ahead of them and you have taken it upon yourselves to raise them and nurture them. It is your responsibility to do, with great care for the human being, the soul, the small person they are. This not only includes their physical wellbeing and their general health, but their emotional wellbeing and mental health. It is your responsibility to give them guidance to help them grow into the adults they will someday become in an unforgiving, judgmental and cruel world.
I wish you had not sent them out wearing a label they can never remove. I wish you had educated yourself on more than just blood work, nutrition, meds and viral loads. I wish you had the opportunity to walk in my shoes and know how deep this will affect them for the rest of their lives. I wish I had a magic wand to erase your 15 minutes of fame.