AIDS is not something to hide; it's something natural, especially nowadays and need to be communicated to our children.
HIV-positive parents must realize that living positively with the virus, such as providing proper nutrition and having a healthy attitude, greatly benefit their children because it prolongs their lives and postpones orphan hood. In Zimbabwe the current economic challenges have affected many families and giving proper nutrition to our children is a problem.
Disclosing an HIV status to a child can be based on many things, such as the child's age or maturity, but inevitably it is the choice of the individual parent. Parents should be close and lovely to their children so that they can pre-empty the entire secret to them without fear. At times trust among the family members comes through communicating.
Providing food and shelter for children means little if it is not accompanied by psychological support, such as communication and tolerance. Parents should be tolerant to their children and often discuss important issues about their lives freely.
Children may not be able to describe their thought and feelings easily, but this does not mean the illness or death of a parent does not affect them. In Zimbabwe many children are groaning for the death of their parents who died while they still need their love. Talking about death and dying at times can be positive experience for both parents and children. It gives the opportunity for children to say goodbye and start the process of healing to the children. HIV/AIDS education as part of counseling can be an effective way of prevention.
Counseling about HIV/AIDS prepares children for what lies ahead and encourages them to believe that they can manage through grief and loss. Children across the world need to be educated about the dangers of HIV/AIDS to their lives. An ear should be given to their social, economic and psychological needs in order to avoid the unnecessary spread of this disease.