The perspective of a parent/guardian:
Your parents/carers may worry how you will react to the news about HIV, and react to them. At the time when they were diagnosed, HIV stigma would have been greater than it is now, which may still make them worry about talking about HIV with other people. Here are some of the questions that might be going through their mind:
- How will my child react to finding out they have HIV?
- How will they feel about me? Will they blame me?
- If they tell other people, does that mean my HIV status will be known too?
- Do I have all of the answers to their questions?
- How will my child feel once they hear my answers to their questions?
- We're both healthy, why do we need to talk about it?
- Should I wait for my child to bring up HIV so that I know they're ready to talk about it?
Any of these questions may stop your parent/carer from feeling able to talk openly about HIV with you, even if they want to, and they may find it difficult. If you want to bring up the subject but you are not sure how, you could try watching some of the CHIVA films together. Other young people we work with have said this has helped conversations. You could also think about coming to one of our family conferences. They usually happen annually, and when the next one is arranged, there will be information about it here.
Talking about HIV, is an ongoing process, and if one conversation doesn't go as well as you might have hoped, it is important to try again another time. If you have anyone else to talk to about any worries, it might really help. You can also always talk to CHIVA if you are finding it difficult to talk about HIV in your family. Please get in touch with us and we can see how we can help.