For the purpose of this article, the writer has chosen to select the teen age group as the focus.
Receiving the news that one’s child has been diagnosed as HIV + is quite unimaginable. No parent wants to ever hear anything upsetting about their child, but more so when it comes to health matters.
However, it is terrifying for a teenager or adolescent to receive the diagnosis alone. They react in a multitude of ways, from complete shock and denial to heart wrenching sobbing. Many of these young people are unable to see a bright future, particularly if they do not have a support system to offer comfort and encouragement.
Most young people feel ill about facing their parents to break the news.
People who are not well informed about HIV, immediately receive the diagnosis as a life sentence or a death threat. It is the first thought that enters their minds.
This is not the case if one takes immediate action by consulting a healthcare professional to begin HIV treatment and counselling. As much as a parent may be extremely angry and upset about their teenage child contracting the disease through promiscuity, it is not the time to lash out with scolding and harsh actions.
When a young person receives a diagnosis like this, all one can hope for is that a parent will listen and offer unconditional love. Upon hearing that one’s child is HIV positive, is a time for strength and an opportunity to display the number one parental trait, devotion. It is not the time for blame, disappointment or anger. A parent should be there for their child unfailingly. This will ensure that the channels of communication will always be open.
The child is going to need their parent even more so at this time in their lives. It is important to remember that even although the teenager has engaged in an adult activity, whether carelessly or not, the child still does not yet have the maturity to deal with their emotions, as well as the consequences.
This is not to say that the parent is expected to deny themselves of their feelings that may range from anger to guilt to disappointment, and even shame or neglect.
The parent needs to first arm herself with as much information as possible, as well as seeking out a support system to assist her throughout the initial stage of trying to accept the child without judgement or negative consequences.