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Question
Posted by: Sweet Mama | 2010-05-31

Explaining HIV to 10 year old daughter !!!

How do you explain to a 10 year old that his or her cousin died of Aids? My daughter keeps on asking all the time when people passes on, she always ask ” kgante o bolaile ke eng mama?”  at times I do answer, like when a person is old, or car accident but when it comes to HIV, I always says stop asking too much, the person was ill. Knowing that I am having HIV just hurt me me when she asks. I am aware she know about HIV, but I just can’ t'' discuss it with her. How do I?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If you'll check back in the archives of this forum, I have many times discussed the issue of discussing death with children. And, while the discussion needs to be kept appropriate to their age, it is best to keep frank and honest. And its worth including the possibilities that some people die when they're very old, by which time they often have various diseases ; or they may die at any age of an accident, or they may die at any age of an illness serious enough to make it too difficult for them to continue living.
I gather you're concern is not wanting to tall her the relative died of HIB/AIDS, because you yourself have HIV.
And you're right that this is something you need to discuss with her anyway. She will have learned something about HIV and AIDS at school, and in what she reads and sees on TV ; and in what she hears ( acurately and inaccurately ) from other children and conversations she overhears.
So you don't have the choice of being sure she will not know about the virus and its problems, or even that you have the virus. At least if you take the initiative to discuss it, you know what you have said together and will know what she does and does not know and how she feels about it.
If may also be helpful for you to raise this same question with the folks on the HIV forum

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Daisy | 2010-06-13

How do explain to your child who is on ARVs?

Reply to Daisy
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-05-31

If you'll check back in the archives of this forum, I have many times discussed the issue of discussing death with children. And, while the discussion needs to be kept appropriate to their age, it is best to keep frank and honest. And its worth including the possibilities that some people die when they're very old, by which time they often have various diseases ; or they may die at any age of an accident, or they may die at any age of an illness serious enough to make it too difficult for them to continue living.
I gather you're concern is not wanting to tall her the relative died of HIB/AIDS, because you yourself have HIV.
And you're right that this is something you need to discuss with her anyway. She will have learned something about HIV and AIDS at school, and in what she reads and sees on TV ; and in what she hears ( acurately and inaccurately ) from other children and conversations she overhears.
So you don't have the choice of being sure she will not know about the virus and its problems, or even that you have the virus. At least if you take the initiative to discuss it, you know what you have said together and will know what she does and does not know and how she feels about it.
If may also be helpful for you to raise this same question with the folks on the HIV forum

Reply to cybershrink

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