Friday, July 15, 2011

No Fear...Hope is Here

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow." – Orison Swett Marden

Just recently The New York Times posted this very interesting article about a study supporting the use of anti-virals to ward off HIV-infection. They proposed using it in people who are believed to be at high risk, but did you also know that antivirals can be used for "possible" HIV exposure? As a mother with three school age children who are positive, I felt confident–nothing could happen. I mean, what were the chances that my child would scrape knees at the same exact time with another child, or any of the other (never could happen) bodily contact scenerios that might go through your head?

The odds were a million to one. I would have banked my life on it. Even so, in 2008, shortly after Yonas was adopted, we made the decision as a family to let each of our children's schools, including their PE teachers, know about their HIV status. Why? There were a number of factors, but the biggest was that keeping it a secret had become a burden even larger than the illness itself. It was just "time," was how my daughter put it.

Have I ever regretted that decision? Never–not even once. I think that after hiding it for so many years, being able to have it out in the open felt like becoming a free man after a life-long confinement. I don't think I realized, while we were going through it, what a toll keeping the secret had become.

Disclosure is a very personal decision, and one that should not be taken lightly, especially where young children are concerned. In our case, it was the right decision at the right time. I know that there are other mothers and families out there struggling with these same issues and I hope that my story offers reasurance and hope.

In lieu of all the recent news about the success of anti-virals for post exposure, I think it fitting to reshare this story, "A Mother's Worst Nightmare."

Do not fear the unknown, but instead arm yourself with education––


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