A-Z

Interview 50

Age at interview: 40
Age at diagnosis: 35
Brief Outline: His new born child was diagnosed with HIV, and he and his wife were both subsequently diagnosed with HIV too. His family is in good health and his child is prospering with support from the NHS. (Video and audio clips read by an actor.)
Background: A 40 year-old married black African man with two children, who was born in the UK and is working full-time.

More about me...

Age at interview' 40

Age at diagnosis' 35

Sex' Male

Background' A 40 year-old married black African man with two children, who was born in the UK and is working full-time.

Outline' A 40 year-old married black African man with two children, who was born in the UK and is working full-time. His new born child was diagnosed with HIV after contracting PCP (pneumonia) in 2000. He and his wife were both subsequently diagnosed with HIV. They decided early on not to blame each other for HIV, and the marriage has survived and provided enormous support. Only one sister-in-law knows about their HIV status, otherwise they keep their HIV status to themselves. He knows that he will have to disclose to his child about their HIV status before the child becomes a teenager and sexually active. He is currently taking Kaletra, ddI, Telzir (fosamprenavir) and Septrin. While his T cells are not as high as he would like, his family is in good health, his child is prospering, and he believes he himself would be dead now without the support of the NHS.

(Video and audio clips read by an actor.)

 

He was struggling with keeping HIV secret and how to tell his child that the whole family is HIV...

He was struggling with keeping HIV secret and how to tell his child that the whole family is HIV...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

What happens when he gets to those stages? Adolescence and he's a teenager. It's going to be very hard for him to cope. I don't know how he's going to cope, we don't know. 

In a sense we almost, hopefully this psychiatric thing we're going to go through may help but, it's one thing that we've sort of pushed under the carpet at the moment. None of us know what to do we… just, are just, totally snookered. We don't know how to handle this child when he starts asking the questions. Fortunately he hasn't started asking the questions yet. And fortunately as we know and as... professionals know... I know he can't affect another child by just playing with them or swimming with them. 

So we don't have to tell other parents that, that he's got his problem because we're not putting their children at risk so that's OK. But the thing of, I mean he always has to, for example as I said earlier, he has to be with us all the time because we have his, provide his medication for him all the time. 

Well he's getting to the age where he'll want to go away you know what I mean like other kids, want to. I want to be away from me for a week, go and sleep over for three days, he can't do that. And how do you solve those issues when those issues start coming to the fore when he's a... Our, you know his grandmother says, 'Why don't you leave him here?'

I mean sometimes they would say to us, like in the summer holidays, [grandparents] they say to us why don't you leave him here? We would love to, in any normal circumstance we would have left him in Africa for a month to be with his grandparents to be with his uncles, to stay there. And we could come here and actually have a break from him for, for a month and, you know, we can't. Because he has to have his medication, he has to come back, he has to come back, back with us, he can't stay, he can't stay with them. 

 

A husband and wife who both had HIV tried to find the humour in nursing their child who was ill...

A husband and wife who both had HIV tried to find the humour in nursing their child who was ill...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

We laughed about it, and people look at us' 'Why are you laughing?' We said but if you don't laugh, you go mad. Laughing is important, have fun you, if you don't… Well I don't know it, just, you can't wipe it out of your mind, you see what I'm saying… She [my wife] had to wear gloves and you know the sterile conditions and all that lot. And I mean you did, you laughed at it… you never… did you ever think you were going to end up a nurse? 

Do you see what I'm saying, you never trained to be… Because you couldn't have, it was an open thing, you couldn't afford to be infected at all because that would cause a lot of problems. And then you had to ensure that you gave him his medication on time, the other medication he was going through. You're literally in and out of hospitals you know… he had to be checked up all the time.

Previous Page
Next Page