Moms' Stories
Telling about my HIV

Telling people I have HIV is not such an issue for me. Not after all these years.

But I always had reservations towards helpers/nannies. For some reason they are a group of people I am just not ready share my HIV status with.  The concept of a stranger in my house who know my private issues doesn't fit right with me. 

I worry about what they can do to our kids.  I think their fears/frustrations could be directed to my baby and not me.  Her lack of understanding the entire HIV thing.  For some reason, this is one of my worries.

Recently I have done some introspection on the issue, to sort figure why I feel like this.  I ask myself if this is about nannies or just a level at which I (as a person living with HIV) must expect to engage with my feeling with HIV. Because I need help at the house!

I think Nana’s joining a busy family, and forcing me to consider a helper in the family, a chapter was opened where I was forced to explore a feeling around how would I feel about someone treating my Nana badly based on what they know about me.  I am not sure whether it is just mom’s protective instincts or I truly have reservations about nannies.   

Is it possible that I am not truly down with this disclosure thing? Honestly, I am realizing that it is deeper that just how I feel about a stranger in house, but more about this life-long relationship I have with HIV.    It truly influences everything in my life.  

Every day I realize life with HIV does not end just with getting it under control with ARVs. It influences so many life decisions.  At this stage, having journeyed this long with HIV, it still shocks me see how much an integral part of my life HIV actually is.

I am way pass the stage where I worry about someone finding out that I have HIV. But it is new level of engagement, how each member of my family may be treated based on what is known about me.   Even though Nana does not have HIV, I influence what I could happen to her.

I realize that not many of us might be at this level as yet, especially newly-diagnosed moms. However, since I may be ahead of many moms, I would help for me to introduce some things before you get to them, so that by the time you get to them you are ready to deal with them.   I realize  that with every significant introduction to my life there are feelings I must explore and they may not come directly as HIV related but could be introduced as just a general issue, like my reservations with nannies.  So maybe we should keep an open posture so to what life with HIV brings and dissect it so we may understand and embrace a life with HIV.

It possible for an HIV+ mom to have a negative baby. Make sure you get to the clinic as soon as you find out you are pregnant. You will be put on free ARVs to protect your baby.



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