Saturday, July 16, 2011
Another sweet little boy
On Reece's Rainbow this little boy is called Dewey.
He has a droopy eyelid... and he also is HIV+.
HIV sounds scary. But when I first started thinking about adoption, it was because of a sibling group of 3, and the youngest of the three was HIV+. So I did some research.
I found out that HIV was no longer fatal. It doesn't develop into AIDS so long as the carriers get proper medical treatment. So Dewey isn't at all doomed to die from AIDS--in fact, he can live a normal lifespan. It is very important that kids with HIV get their medicines at the correct time, but if they do, they can stay very healthy.
I found out that HIV did not spread in families. I already knew casual contact didn't spread the virus--that you couldn't get it from close-mouthed kissing, or hugs, or food prepared by a person who is HIV+--but I had heard it did spread through bodily fluids. But here are the statistics on HIV spreading in families: it doesn't happen. It's spread through sexual contact and dirty needles. That's it. There are no recorded cases of HIV spreading in normal family life since antiretrovirals (HIV drugs) were introduced. The drugs can drive the levels of HIV in a person's blood so low they cannot be detected, and the virus dies quickly outside the body... and it just isn't transmitted between parents and children or between siblings. Not when they swim together; not when they brush their teeth; not when they bleed at the same time.
If you are looking to adopt a child with special needs that won't change the way you live your life, consider adopting a child with HIV. There is a great need for homes for children who are HIV+, even kids with no cognitive or physical disabilities.
Here are some more sites to learn about adopting kids who are HIV+: