The questions I get asked the most are about how HIV affects our daily life and if we are afraid. Usually the first question goes something like this, "What is it like having HIV positive kids?"
Well, first, they are just kids. Kids who happen to have HIV. Right now they are young. So the ways in which our lives are affected is so minimal that we rarely even think about HIV. Twice a day they take medicine. It takes all of 3 minutes to give both of them their medication. Medication is portable so it doesn't keep us chained to the house. With insurance most medications are extremely affordable and there are many programs that help those who can't afford medication.
The girls go to the doctor once every 3 months to check their viral load and see how they are doing in general. We usually go out for a treat afterwards and use this as a chance to have some special girl time.
I am not naive. As they get older things will get more complicated. As teenagers they may rebel against taking medication. They may be angry. Dating, which as a teen is already a daunting experience, will be more complicated. There are bigger issues will come up as the years pass.
But the fact is that our girls would have gone through so many of these issues even if they had never been adopted. And they would have dealt with them alone. Now, they have a loving support system to help them through whatever trials may arise. We all have our battles in life. We all deserve a shoulder to lean on. And there is no issue that is too big to work through.
Who knows what medical breakthroughs will arise in the coming decade? There has been so much progress already, and with stories such as the Berlin patient, hope grows even more that we will eventually eradicate HIV and AIDS.
As for if we are afraid, the answer is simply "no." Fear stems from ignorance. Most people have not been educated about HIV since the1980s and, believe me, things have changed drastically. Check out this video from Project Hopeful (which happens to be one of my favorite organizations on the planet.
Five minutes of research will remove the fear for anyone. Awareness is key. Fear has no place.
But the most important thing that I want people to know is that our girls are not HIV. They are
And they are beautiful, wonderful blessings. They are not a diagnosis. Look into those faces. There is nothing to fear except the ignorance of others. And, that is the TRUTH.
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