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Time for 'The Talk'?

Time for 'The Talk'?


University of California, Los Angeles, psychologist Debra Murphy says the best age range to begin discussing HIV with your children is between 6 and 12 years. Many kids, she says, will already begin to pick up clues to the fact -- from seeing medications in the house to just a general sense that something is going on in the family. If you wait too long to disclose, your kids can suffer elevated anxiety as a consequence. Also, if you're skipping meds or doctors' appointments in order to keep HIV a secret from your child, disclosing will allow you to take better care of yourself. Many moms feel less depressed and enjoy better family togetherness afterward. Murphy recommends you make a solid plan about how and when to disclose and not do it on the spur of the moment. See if you can find other moms or someone at your local AIDS service organization to give you a sense of what questions your children may ask. Be as educated about HIV as you can so that you can respond to questions. Your children may get upset after you tell them. But Murphy has found that most kids will soon process the information well.

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