Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tell Two!!

The following is a post written by Erin, an amazing adoptive Mom of 11. Two of her beautiful children are HIV+ and Erin has done an incredible job of educating people about what it means to be a child living with HIV. PLEASE read her post and then accept the challenge to "tell two"!

Today I have heard from several different parents of HIV+ children who are facing negative reactions to their adoptions based on the stigma and ignorance surrounding HIV. It is extremely frustrating to me that in 2008 there is still so much unfounded fear caused by a lack of education, that results in nasty, ugly and mean treatment of people who are HIV+ and their families.

The reason people in the U.S. are not educated about HIV is that most people don't care, because most people in this country are not affected by it. People still see it as the problem of homosexuals, drug users and people in Africa. The reality is, HIV/AIDS is everyone's problem. It is a devastating problem in Africa and many countries, but there are many, many Americans living with this disease as well. In fact, new cases of HIV in the U.S. are now being seen in the largest numbers in heterosexual women. HIV/AIDS is a HUMAN problem.

Living with this nasty disease is hard enough, but compounding that with the misguided fear and judgment of society is beyond tragic, and as the mom of two HIV+ children, it is sad and frustrating.

So, if you are one of the many who check in to this blog every day, I am asking you to do me a favor. I want you to tell at least two people about HIV. Spread the word that...

- HIV can NOT be spread through causal/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other causal way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles).
- HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives.

- People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do.

If anyone wants more info on transmission, there is great info on the Center for Disease Control website at

Help me spread the truth about HIV, and take a tiny stab at the stigma against HIV. Tell your friend when you talk on the phone. Tell your spouse. Tell your parents. Post it on your blog and ask other people to tell their readers. Ask them to pass it on as well. I would love to see this spread beyond the adoption blogs.

Even if you have no real interest in HIV/AIDS, even if you are not involved in adoption, even if you don't think you know anyone who is HIV+... education and knowledge are always a good thing. It is so easy to say to someone, "hey, guess what I learned today?" and it is even easier to put it on a blog or in an email.

Do it for me. Do it for the other adoptive families and the HIV+ orphans that are waiting for homes. Do it for Belane and Solomon. Do it for all of the other people on this planet living with HIV. If everyone that reads this blog tells at least two people, that is a whole bunch of people we can reach and a little bit of difference we can make.


Anonymous said...

I'm totally agree with you Kelsey...Whoever they are, they deserve respect and better lives coz we can't judge it's their fault or not for having this virus.
It's all about the decreasing of imune system which make every kind of infection become serious complications. Living a life happily, enjoying it in healthy life style and staying away from stressful feelings are better ways to improve life's quality of the patient. I believe the patients who live longer are living their life this way =) Magic Johnson is one the living samples. Besides, there are many good anti virus that help many patients these days. All we need is the awareness. If someone realizes that she/he is having this virus she/he has to find the medical treatment immediately without feeling embarassing. Being HIV + isn't the end of the world, there is still hope.
I had read the blog you've mentioned before and all i can say is God bless this family and for the mother who made us see with our heart. Not many people can do the same thing. Thank you for bring this up. God bless you...~SELLY

KelseyChristine said...

Thanks Selly! It's nice to hear from you again :)

Anonymous said...

If it makes your day better, I can assure you that in the Nordic countries everyone knows how HIV is spread and how it isn´t spread. (Well, at least everyone I know knows that.) Thank God for sexual education (or whatever the subject should be called) in schools!!

-Lisa, Sweden