So, when was the last time you were educated about HIV and AIDS? Fifth grade? Yep, for me. Honestly. My knowledge of HIV hasn't really changed since I had the fear put in me in 5th grade sex ed class. And really I guess I don't know more about it because it's not really a big issue here. I know other continents are being wiped out by it, so you'd think I'd want to steer clear of that, right? BUT HIV 101 isn't what it used to be. We definitely did not consider HIV+ to be something we'd be willing to take on with our adoption. Everyone asks us, but we have little kids... Well, I've recently learned that that doesn't make sense and I couldn't be happier. So I thought I'd share a few things with you just in case you need a HIV refresher course.
- HIV has never been spread in a household setting. (That was a game changer for me.) You can't get it from eating or drinking after each other, bathing together, sweating. Not even messy toilet seats that unfortunately DO happen occasionally with potty trainers under my roof. Not through scraped knees. None of that normal family stuff. Not in school either.
- It's only transmitted through sex, sharing needles, and mother to child.
- Once they are on ARV medication, the HIV is virtually undetectable.
- They are healthier than HIV negative kids because of the drugs they take.
- You don't have legally have to share the information with the school or anybody if you don't want to.
- Their life expectancy is into their 70's.
- It's actually maybe not a big honkin' deal after all.
I didn't know that. I sorta feel like an idiot. If you think I'm an idiot too, that's OK. Please don't beat me up in the comments section. I'm learning. That's the point, right? I'm just sharing because you may be considering adoption and maybe HIV is on your radar (or maybe it's not). But it's always good to learn something new.