"I was numb and in fear of others knowing of my status...."
After I sought treatment in March 2000, I was re-united with my children but kept the HIV diagnosis a secret. When I disclosed to MCFD, I recall the looks on their faces like I was going to be dead soon. My eldest daughter, was in a separate group home for youth and was doing very well. During a regular meeting MCFD insisted I disclose my HIV status to my 12-year-old daughter, without notice or support. My daughter was stunned and asked if I was going to die.
She shed tears and I did too. After that meeting, my daughter called me asking to be permanently adopted by the foster parents. She was excelling in school and was happy. I felt really sad, lost and defeated. I told her yes right away because I figured she was scared to be around me due to my HIV status. However, soon after MCFD dropped off my eldest daughter back into my care without any notice or support. I found out that the foster dad had been charged with sexual harassment. Part of me was happy to have her back but I was also scared.
While it was hard at first and I had little support my daughter who is now 29 and I have a healthier relationship after much needed education on HIV, counselling.