Privacy vs. Secrecy

14 Aug

For now we have chosen to be private about our daughter’s HIV.  We feel like if we only tell close family and medical personnel that in the future she has the choice about whether she wants to be more open about her HIV.  But if we are really open about it now we will take the privacy option away from her.

But on the other side of things…if we don’t share more with others… our family does seem like it has a secret.  If we make our daughter hide this, it will seem like HIV is something shameful.  I of course don’t want our daughter to think that.  I want her to learn to accept her HIV.

Privacy will also affect our other children.  It will give them a burden or something that they have to hide about their sister.  At times our 6-year-old already asks questions about all of the doctor’s visit and lab work.  We don’t feel like she is ready to understand about her sister’s HIV.  We think our daughter would worry about her younger sister.  We don’t plan to lie to our other children about her condition, but for now we say things like the doctor are just doing what they think she need to be strong and healthy.

Sometimes I think…
If we are private are we protecting our family or harming  our family???

Disclosure is for me the hardest part about HIV.  For now, we feel like we are supposed to be private, but there are days I wish people knew so that we did not have this “thing” we keep private.  I wish I could help break down some of the misunderstanding about HIV and help educate people.  But reality is that we live in an area that is very ignorant about HIV.  So there are reasons to remain fairly private.  However, we feel like in the future more people in our circle of friends and family will have to know for our daughter and other children’s sake.  But for now our little one is 2 and it doesn’t seems like everyone needs to know.

I think the worst thing about privacy is fearing the unknowns if ever it got around in our small community or church.  What would happen?  How would people respond?  I want to believe that everyone would be fine with it, but I am sure that would not be the case with everyone. 

I hope to blog more about disclosure in the coming weeks. 
I think I have some more thinking to do.  

On a side note…Please pray for one of our bloggers, Jen.  She is in Ethiopia and is having to stay much longer than she had anticipated.  I know she would appreciate prayer that her paperwork gets worked out and that she can bring her son home soon.  She has to be so ready to get home to her husband and other children.  Please join me in praying for her peace and strength for the remainder of her journey.

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