Now, as we approach the year 2000, the idea of HIV positive couples wanting to have children has created more controversy. HIV couples want children in their lives so they can feel that they have a normal life and a normal family. This idea is a problem because the couples do no want to accept the fact that they have a fatal, transmissible disease, which can affect or can harm the child in many ways. A child whose parents have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus may suffer physically from inheriting the genes and being infected by HIV. A person cannot tell if someone has the virus or not by looking.
It can only be discovered through the blood HIV test. People with HIV have to protect themselves in relationships with other persons so that other people would not be infected. The virus can affect the body by attacking and destroying the immune system. With a weak immune system, the body cannot defend itself against diseases. The child with HIV cannot be as active as other children. In time, the body will become vulnerable to the infections, which will lead to brain damage, muscle damage and will affect the IQ scores.
Finally, the virus will cause death. Many would argue that a child with HIV infected parents would not be influenced by the society. The truth is that the childs life is going to be affected socially and psychologically. Once the child starts feeling the symptoms of his disease, he will not be able to go to the same places and do the same things as his friends; therefore, his social life will change. In addition, the child will feel discrimination from other children in school and from the parents of those children.
This discrimination can cause a permanent damage in a childs life. Lamentably, people are very judgmental and can discriminate against a person to a point where a child can feel very worthless, or inversely take a rebellious behavior and perform a terrible act. Another problem that the children of HIV positive parents might face is the death of their parents. HIV positive couples want children so they can satisfy their needs by not being alone, but they are not thinking about the terrible suffering that the child is going to experience after they die.
In a recent PEDIATRICS magazine article, the committee on Pediatric AIDS informed that it is expected that by the end of the century, 80 000 children and adolescents in the United States will be orphaned by parental death caused by human immunodeficiency virus infection. Once the children know that their parents are infected with this fatal disease, they start thinking about what is it going to be like when the parents are not there, and how it is going to be by themselves; furthermore, when the parents actually die, the life of the child changes completely. It is very hard for a child to accept the death of their parents. In addition, it is harder for a child to stay alone.
Some may argue that because parental death is part of life, where a child should live after this episode should not be an issue. It is very important that a child who is left orphaned by parental death receives a stable home, a steady environment that provides love and encouragement, and, most important of all, the medical and social involvement necessary to deal with the terrible loss. Most of the time, these children do not have other family or relatives, so they have to move with foster parents who can assist with .