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‘Now I simply value my loved ones and relatives more’

Our personal stories of mothers of HIV-positive children continue. Next in line is the story of the young lady under the pseudonym Zima_25 who has…
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Our personal stories of mothers of HIV-positive children continue. Next in line is the story of the young lady under the pseudonym Zima_25 who has been living with HIV for six years and is raising an HIV-positive child.
“Hello, mothers, I’d like to tell you about my life, or rather, about the part of it that lives with a plus sign. I, like all of us, went through a difficult journey to come to terms with my disease. And I’m not here to tell you about how it was not easy and challenging. I’m the mother of two wonderful children. They are the point of my life, the ones for whom I breathe and live. If it weren’t for my family, I’d probably have long ago given up and let the feeling of hopelessness take over my mind. Every morning, going into their room and seeing them sleeping calmly, I give thanks to the Almighty for my children, family, dear ones, and for all things good and not very good, for every living moment.
I’d like to tell you, dear mothers, so that you don’t become discouraged. Raise your children with love and hope for the best. It happens that my older son also lives with HIV. Without even knowing it, it was me who gave him this virus along with mother’s milk. And you know, I don’t live feeling guilty about my son, since it is stupid and incorrect to accuse yourself for something which happened without your willing.
Any loving mother tries to give her children the best of everything, and I will try to do this. It was and to this day it can be difficult, but we try to overcome the challenges.
Just after my child turned 5 years old, he asked me his first question about our virus. It was then when he asked me for the first time why we take all these medicines. Taken aback, I didn’t explain to him immediately what they were for and what their impact was. But a few days later I decided to talk about it. Yes, of course I didn’t tell him where it came from and how, that would be hard for him to learn and understand at his age. I simply told my son about how life can be hard and unpredictable and that along the way people fall into different trials and tribulations, and that all kinds of people, sooner or later, learn about grief, sickness, and problems, and sometimes it is even such that a newborn infant can suffer from ‘gifts’ handed to him by fate. I explained to him that this happens to everyone, regardless of their age, religion, and where they live.
My son looked at me with his amazing eyes, blinked his lashes, and chimed in, saying that he saw a child who couldn’t walk, while I continued talking, trying to hide my falling tears. Since then we often talk about HIV in private. He has more and more questions, and I try to answer them delicately. I hope that he will continue to grow as kind and sincere as he is now. I know that there will come the time when I must tell him everything and I’m certain that he won’t for a second doubt his parents, he will understand us and won’t accuse anyone of anything for what happened to him.
My husband and I decided that our sons will be raised in absolutely equal conditions and that they won’t sense any difference between each other. Yes, as they are getting older they are also asking more questions. But what surprises and touches my husband and me is that they are wise beyond their years and patient. I hope that we will raise them to be good and happy people.
Six years of life with HIV and I have reevaluated many things. Now many things that used to be important to me have faded into the background. Now I simply value my loved ones and relatives more. I am certainly lucky that God gave me life, a family, and this ordeal. Specifically ordeal, not punishment, nor sorrow, nor burden, but ordeal. One simply must navigate it correctly, find one’s way, become better, kinder, and more cordial. Be able to appreciate everything we have now and believe in a bright future!”.

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