As your kids grow up, you would need to start talking to them about topics like sex, HIV and AIDs. This is considered more important, especially in today’s world of increasing HIV cases. While the amount of information you divulge with your kids would depend on their individual ages and maturity, here are a few basic pointers to help you get started on the topic.
Know what to talk
Before talking to your kids about AIDs and HIV, get yourself familiarized with the terms. Educate yourself in order to gain accurate information that you can pass onto your kids. This includes knowing what the infection is, how it spreads, what its symptoms are and more importantly, how it does not spread. Also, make it a point to know about current treatment options for the condition.
Talk in Simple Terms
Complicating the terms and phrases would only confuse your kids. So be straightforward and keep the language simple enough for them to understand what it is you want to say. For instance, instead of saying that HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and it would affect the body’s orderly functions, say that HIV is a virus that would attack the immune system in the body and make the concerned individual get other sicknesses easily.
Prepare to Answer Questions
As you start talking, your kids would start asking questions in between. Answer them honestly, even if you feel uncomfortable about the same. For instance, if they want to know how HIV can be transmitted via sexual intercourse, explain it to them. Don’t shy away from revealing certain facts that they are bound to know about sooner or later. Telling them in advance will make them more prepared to tackle the subject in the future (and to remain safe as well).
Neither beat around the bush, nor hide details while explaining about HIV and AIDs to your kids. Things like modes of transmission need to be explained clearly, so that your kid knows how he/she can contract HIV/AIDs and how he/she cannot. Expand the details according to age, being more specific about certain details in case your kid is a teen.
Prevention and Testing
HIV in most cases is preventable. Explain the same to your kids, emphasizing on the ways in which they can keep themselves safe from the condition. While younger kids need to be taught to not touch cuts and wounds of an infected person, older kids would need to be taught to avoid having sex with an infected person, and being more careful about sharing infectious needles in clinics, hospitals or diagnostic labs. Older kids would also need to be taught about the possibility of contracting the condition via contaminated needles used during tattooing and body piercing.