Young persons view
A child growing up living with HIV, may have many questions, especially about what it is like to grow up with HIV. They may feel like they don't have many places they can turn to. Here are some of the questions that might be going through their mind:
- Were my parents born with HIV too?
- Do my siblings have HIV/why don't my other siblings have HIV?
- (Depending on when/how they find out) why wasn't I told sooner?
- Why can't I tell my siblings about my HIV?
- How did my parents/carers feel when they told me about my HIV status?
- How did my parents/carers feel when they told me about their HIV status?
- Are there other young people with HIV?
- Will I be able to have a relationship?
- Can I have a baby?
- Does school know/Do I have to tell school?
- Who knows that I have HIV?
- What will my future be like?
- Should I wait for my parents/carers to bring up HIV so that I know they're ready to talk about it?
Whether a young person feels comfortable asking these questions, may depend on how they were first told about their HIV. Children and young people may base their reaction to HIV on what they think the adults in their life feels about it, and on how they were told about their HIV. Some of the children and young people we support feel that they aren't allowed to talk about HIV in the home, either because this has been directly said, or through indirectly being said. It is really important as an adult to consider the point of view of a child/young person, even if this is difficult, and for you to do whatever you can to enable your child to feel like they can come to you with their questions.
You may find these FAQ's helpful to read through.
There is more information for parents/carers here. CHIVA are also very happy to talk to anyone in families who are finding it difficult to talk about HIV. Please get in touch if we can help you with this.