A couple says their vacation was ruined when an RV park owner told them they weren't welcome after discovering their 2-year-old foster son had the HIV virus.
Last week, Dick and Silvia Glover went to the Wales West RV Park in Silver Hill, Ala., with their foster son Caleb. When the boy was banned from using the pool and showers, the Glovers said they were offered an uncomfortable and painful choice: They could either keep Caleb out of the water or leave.
"We weren't sure if somebody could get the virus if the child upchucked on them or from blood or what," said Ken Zadnichek, the park's owner. "We didn't know what the risk was. That's why we asked for something from their doctor or the county health department."
Dick Glover said the request for a doctor's note made it clear Caleb was unwelcome.
An Alabama newspaper quoted Zadnichek as saying, "I'm not responsible for their feelings. I'm responsible for the well-being of everybody in the park. If their feelings got hurt, I'm sorry. That's the way it's got to be."
Upset and dismayed, the couple left with its son.
"Here we are paying for the facilities, but there's certain ones our son can't use," Dick Glover said.
Glover said today on "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" that he could understand where Zadnichek was coming from, but added Zadnichek should have been more informed about HIV and AIDS.
"Little Caleb, he was innocent as can be," Glover said. "It was not he's fault he was born with AIDS."
Silvia Glover said it never occurred to her Caleb's HIV status would be an issue. In fact, the matter came up in a casual conversation with a desk clerk when she told the attendant of her plans to adopt the toddler.
The Glovers said they chose the location because of their son's love of trains. Wales West features steam and diesel locomotives -- similar to ones used by the mining industry in Wales -- on a railway that circles a small lake.
Complicating matters is the fact that 69-year-old Dick Glover suffers from advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He is expected to have 18 months to live.
Silvia Glover said some Americans are not educated enough about HIV.
"They don't know near enough, especially that children are totally innocent and represent no danger to the public," she said.
Medical experts said the HIV virus is unable to spread through casual contact.
"There's absolutely no way you can get HIV from a pool or a shower casual contact using the same facilities," said David Little, director of South Alabama CARES, an AIDS education and outreach organization that serves 12 counties in south Alabama. "It just doesn't happen."
The Glovers said Caleb is a happy child who they just wanted to please because his life expectancy is only seven years.