Who you tell will also depend on your situation, and the relationships you have with people.
Because HIV can be passed on during sex, telling someone who is a current or previous sexual partner can be particularly difficult and emotional. Depending on where you live, there may be some legal issues you have to consider. In some countries, if you know you have HIV, then having sex without disclosing your HIV status first is against the law.
Talk to your doctor or someone in an HIV organisation about the situation where you live.
For You, Mama
Often people have concerns about telling their employer, or immigration authorities. Again, this will depend on where you live. For example, in the UK, there are very few jobs which require you to tell your employer if you have HIV — if you are a surgeon for instance — and having HIV does not affect your immigration status.
It can be helpful to think about what kind of reaction you might expect from someone you are considering telling. Do you think they will be calm and supportive? Are they likely to get upset and worried for you? Is there a chance they could be angry, or even violent? Talking to a healthcare professional, or a support group or organisation, can help you to think about the kind of reaction you are expecting and how you might handle it. In some situations, it might be possible for someone to be with you when you disclose. My parents have been nothing less than supportive and helpful through this entire time.
They bought a ton of books about HIV and informed themselves as much as they possibly could about prevention and nutrition and how to help physically and emotionally. I am forever grateful to have their unwavering support and unconditional love. Being able to be open and honest with someone about your HIV status and your feelings can be really powerful.source site
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It can make you feel closer to the person, and they may offer you emotional and practical support when you need it. She decided freelance writing was the best option because it gave her a flexible schedule to take care of my sister and me. She gave up a steady income with promotions and benefits to be there for us. This creates a difficult situation for new moms: Do I tell people about my kids and suffer the consequences, or do I keep my mouth shut? When I was about 10, my mother was trying to get a full-time job with a communications agency.
Taking this job would have meant taking a pay cut from what she was earning through freelance projects, but the steady and reliable income was more important to her and to us , so she pushed for it. But he stood his ground and told her no. My father never had this problem. When I was 9 he switched from a corporate desk job to become the director of community engagement for a nonprofit that focused on helping neglected and abused kids.
He used the fact that he was an involved father as a tool; he would often bring up the fact that having children himself showed him how important helping other kids in need truly is. Being a father gave him a leg up and made him more relatable. Media, like many industries, is obsessed with youth. One thing both my parents always taught me is that my career and my future should always come first—and not to depend on a spouse for financial support.
Just the other day I visited my mom for the first time at the Fast Company offices. She knew I was going to put my baby up for adoption, and she was going to be okay. And so was I.
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I grabbed on to that and it gave me courage. Instead, I was broken-hearted and sad. I am ashamed to admit that I was also incredibly relieved because I no longer worried about whether adoption was the right choice—I knew it. Finally, I no longer worried about whether Brendan would have the life he deserved—I knew he would. Leaving the hospital without my baby was the hardest thing a woman could ever go through including surviving cancer , and I felt like a person reborn. I was determined to make Brendan proud and to make a life for myself that he would be proud of and he is!
I have no regrets about my adoption, and I hope to help other women who can some day say the same thing. Almost every day I speak with young women who are considering this life changing adoption choice. Here are some final thoughts for anyone considering adoption:.
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Megan with her husband, son, and daughters. And for this I am grateful. Most women want to know that they can stay in contact with the baby and the adoptive family, but not all. Keep your heart and mind open as you venture down this path. Contact can be as simple as annual photos and updates, which is what I did at first.
Some women want more contact and want to know that they can see their baby in the future.
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I met Brendan for the first time when he was six. I expect this will continue to evolve as my daughters get older and develop their own relationship with him. If you are reading this story, you might be in the same position I was in so many years ago. Please know that I wrote this story for you and that you are not alone. Megan Cohen is one of the only adoption attorneys in the country who is also a birth mother. Click here to read her story. By: Megan Cohen.
I felt totally alone. The middle child screwing up, again. I isolated myself. I believed I got pregnant for a reason. Leaving the hospital was the saddest day of my life. Adoption was the right choice for me. Adoption is permanent.