January/February #141 : Birds, Bees and HIV - by Logan Levkoff

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 

Growing Pains

A Stirling Example




You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies

My Generation

Can We Talk

Raw Hide

Parent Trap

Homing Devices

The Insure Thing

Birds, Bees and HIV

Pass the Mike




Sugar Rush

Cambodia Manhunt

Girl Talk

Iowa Rocks

Download This!

Angels in Africa

They Clicked

Raven Reviews

Fifteen Candles




Editor's Letter-January/February 2008

Mailbox-January/February 2008

The NAPWA/TAEP HIV/AIDS Policy Report



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Scroll down to comment on this story.


email print

January 2008


Birds, Bees and HIV

by Logan Levkoff

How to talk to kids about sex when you’re HIV positive, without scaring them—and yourself

Talking to kids about sex has never been easy. And there’s no one script that parents can follow to ensure maximum education. Nor is there one perfect time or age for “the talk.” But as parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about sex. We cannot rely on our schools, with their increasingly abstinence-based curricula, to do it.

What would change this dialogue for an HIV-positive parent? Would the factual information about sex be the same? Yes. Would parents still want their teens to protect themselves whenever they made the decision to have sex? Yes. Our goal, regardless of our HIV status, is to provide healthy, positive messages. So don’t panic—remember, these conversations are challenging for everyone.

Instead of unloading years’ worth of information in 10 minutes, create an ongoing dialogue. This can be done by checking in with your children—asking them what they know already, and what they would like to know. Teaching them about sexuality is as much about listening as it is talking. They are exposed to a tremendous amount of sexual imagery and messaging, and we should give them the tools to evaluate them. Create environments that are nonjudgmental and honest. That means we shouldn’t scare children with the horrors of sex; talk also about pleasure and intimacy. Otherwise, our kids will know that we aren’t giving them the whole picture; they won’t ask us for advice again.

Don’t feel guilty about your HIV status when discussing sex; use your experience as a teaching tool. Talk about the decisions you made, and explain that HIV can be prevented. But even if your child does know about HIV, there’s a lot more to talking about sexuality than just the basics of HIV. (If you haven’t disclosed your status yet, keep in mind that how you present sexuality to your children shapes how they will handle your eventual disclosure; you don’t want to freak them out or make it harder for them to process your status.)

We also need to share our own histories with our children. We don’t have to relate our every sexual experiment, but we should help explain why we made certain decisions, including how our world looked. Were we concerned about sexual health? Were our pop-culture icons walking around without panties? Our teens will get a sense of who we are and, more important, feel that we cared enough about them to share a glimpse into our personal lives. It’s OK if this frightens you—especially if you find yourself opening up about how you became positive. But your kids need to know how to make good decisions. If we don’t talk to our kids about sexuality, millions of less reputable sources will be more than happy to do it for us.


Doing It By the Book
Logan Levkoff, MS, is a sexologist and sexuality educator based in New York City. Her book, Third Base Ain’t What It Used to Be (New American Library), empowers and encourages parents to start being honest with their children about sexuality. She tackles all the tough topics, including (but not limited to) masturbation, oral sex and pornography. Click here for more articles.


Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Hide comments

Previous Comments:


  comments 1 - 1 (of 1 total)    

Dem, Bangkok, 2008-12-19 02:11:32
I am HIV+ but my partner is not(Female)I have beein undetectable for 6months and we want to have a baby.We can afford the sperm washing procedure (too costly)What risks do my partner face if we have unprotected sex during her ovulation period for this conseception to take place?What are the percentages if any that she might be infected?I have read numerous cases of conception like this without being infected. Thanks for your time , Dem

comments 1 - 1 (of 1 total)    

[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    chipper52
    Palm Springs
    California


    slimcuteguy
    Asheville
    North Carolina


    pevans
    San Francisco
    California


    donnyp
    liberty
    Kentucky
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Do you work with your doc to design your own treatment regimen?
Yes
No

Survey
PrEP Course

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.