Why have we decided to be a family who discloses our child'sHIV status?
There is absolutely nothing our child has to be ashamed of regarding having the HIV virus. So that being said... why would I then turn around and act as if it was something that needed to be hidden?
I totally understand that in some cases disclosing is not the best thing for every family and I totally respect that. We can not say that there will never be a time that we are not as open as we are now. As our son grows up he may choose not to be so vocal and open and we will respect that but until then I will focus on speaking the truth into his little heart about who he is and that this virus does not define him. So, we will cross that bridge when we get there. Right now in our country and all over the world there is a HUGE problem with ignorance, lack of information, negative stigmas, and in some cases hate regarding HIV/AIDS and the only way to flush this out is to help educate, speak up, and fight to make changes.
In addition to this, I personally didn't feel right at all hiding something from most/everyone we know. Do I plan on broadcasting to everyone I meet that our son is HIV+? Absolutely not but I also could not imagine the burden of trying to keep such a thing secret and then what message would I be sending my other children about their sibling? No it's nothing to be ashamed of but it's also a secret. If my child had diabetes, or cancer, or Autism I wouldn't try to hide it so why is this any different. The answer is the way others may or may not treat them, and that's not OK. However being silent will not change a thing. "The problem isn't with the ones who hide in shame, it's with the ones that shame them into hiding." Carolyn Twietmeyer, Project Hopeful.