A new prevention campaign, My Son Is My Life, launched August 11 by New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), aims to educate the fathers of young, black men who have sex with men (MSM) so that they can play a role in keeping their sons HIV-free. We asked HIV-positive GMHC clients: Do you believe that compassionate parenting can be an effective form of HIV prevention?

Alan Perez:
“HIV prevention should start at home. Parents should talk to their children about HIV and the risks of their behaviors. Parents can learn how to talk about HIV by getting support from community organizations.”

Ron Regins:
“Honesty and true communication should be a vital component in parenting. Children need templates of what healthy relationships are. Parents should let children know about options, respect for their bodies and risks of HIV and STDs.”

Thomas Powell Jr.:
“HIV infection is fueled by ignorance and intolerance. Compassionate parenting should start at home through educational skills-building. Parents should first study the issues around HIV. This way, they would be better at educating their children as well as themselves about this vicious virus.”