Jill told me of her HIV positive daughter, adopted from Guatemala a few years ago. She told me that of many of the Special Needs out there, she considers HIV one of the most doable. Most children are perfectly normal in every way except for their blood. They learn, grow, walk, run, read, write, play, take gymnastics, swim, play soccer, etc. like any other child.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions (based on info found at the following web site: http://www.positivelyorphaned.com/:
Q. How long will my child be likely to live?
A. With proper treatment, a child is expected to have a normal life expectancy. "Children born with HIV in the 1980s who have been diligent about treatment are alive today and thriving (now in their 20s). Doctors claim HIV+ kids can expect to live as long as any other child with a long term chronic illness, such as diabetes, although HIV is generally considered a more manageable condition."
Q. What does your daily routine look like?
A. A child with HIV must have medication in order to lead normal, healthy lives. They can do just about anything their peers can do. Their medicine is taken twice a day on a strict schedule -- which must be observed, and you will have more pediatrician appointments -- typically 4 per year, so that a specialist can monitor the CD4 counts in the blood to be sure the medication is working properly.
Q. What medical problems may arise?
A. Mostly being aware of infections such as malaria, chickenpox and pneumonia. As for common colds and flu, the symptoms and duration of the illness are the same as everyone else and people with HIV are at no greater risk from complications. Usual over-the-counter cold remedies are safe and don't interact with HIV meds.
A. The medical community calls it "Universal Precautions," and you will live by them. You will need to wear gloves when touching blood or handling anything with blood on it. Other than that, you don't need to freak out.
"Q. In the U.S., how does the adoption process differ for HIV+ children vs. HIV- ?
A. Everything is the same. In the past, a visa waiver was required, but that is no longer in existence as of January 4, 2010. "
These HIV positive abandoned children would be immediately available for adoption and desperately need homes.