When we first considered adopting HIV+, I didn't know anything either. I only considered it further when Amy, a friend of mine, started to pursue adoption of a set of twins from the Ukraine. One is HIV+ and the other is not. She began to tell me of research that intrigued me and I took it from there.
Sweet friends, HIV is not the death sentence it once used to be. I remember when it first came to the attention of the media. It was frightening and meant a certain and painful death. It quickly became the new leprosy of the 20th century. And unfortunately, it has stayed that way due to lack of information and ignorance (a.k.a. stigma). In the U.S., with medication, it has been downgraded to a chronic and manageable disease. For many, HIV is more manageable than diabetes. For a child that is HIV+, you can hug them, kiss them and bath them with your other children. You can eat off their utensils and drink from their cups. Basically, you can swallow them up with your heart just like they need you to.
I know, I know, you are probably asking about what if my other children, my husband or I contract it? I am sure this would deem us as irresponsible and cruel by putting our family at risk like this. Let's clear some things up. First of all, the virus of HIV is very fragile and can't function long outside its element (like on a counter, clothing etc.). Once a person is on an effective antiretroviral, the chances of transmission are almost zero. Just for the record, there has never been a documented case of a person transmitting HIV in a sports event where a blood producing wound occurred. Here is a quote from a post I read on an "HIVadoption" yahoo group. Her brother, who is a doctor was quoted as saying: