We have come so very very far. HIV is no longer a death sentence. It is considered to be a chronic, but manageable, disease not so different from diabetes. We were educated about HIV this past year.
Do YOU know that:
children who start medication early often have undetectable traces of HIV in their blood?
if being treated there is no reason that people with HIV can't live a full and long life?
universal precaution (ie. using gloves around blood) is practiced in all hospitals, schools and daycare centers?
the HIV virus is extremely fragile and dies very quickly outside of the body?
you cannot spread HIV through sharing a bath, your toys, a brush, a cup or bottle, a pacifier, or a kiss?
HIV does not need to be disclosed in the workplace, school, church or daycare center?
Do you know that despite all of the information we have now there are still people who say they would not let their child interact with an HIV+ child or adult? That there are still people who believe that HIV/AIDS is a curse from God and in some way deserved by the infected person?
There is a really special woman who writes a blog about caring for her adopted HIV+ children. She also writes about HIV in a really easy to understand way from the point of view of someone whose family is made up of both HIV- and HIV+ family members. Not many people blog publicly about their child's HIV status. But thank goodness someone does because we all still have a lot to learn!
I sent off our homestudy application today. It was a lot of work but a good preview of the dossier to come.