Adolescent period is the most crucial period in one’s development. Lack of support and guidance makes many adolescents, both boys and girls vulnerable to make decisions that heavily impact their lives. In our work with adolescent children living with HIV, we have observed that they become poor adherers to treatment against HIV (ARV treatment). This has resulted many adolescents contract other opportunistic infections very easily thus affecting their health.
Malini(name changed ) is studying 11th standard and is from Namakkal district. She has two sisters and they live with their widowed mother in their grandfather’s house. She and her mother are living with HIV and taking treatment in the government hospital in Namakkal district. Situations at home and casual interactions of her relatives over her status and future had resulted in losing hope about her future. This made her decide to be casual on treatment, which caused a severity in her health condition and falling sick very often due to low immunity.
Then when she started attending the support group meeting, she was appreciated and supported by friends. Now she is able to accept her status and even love herself. This change has encouraged her to be regular on medications and also support other orphan and semi-orphan children who are on treatment through peer counselling. We believe that through the support groups for adolescents initiative many more Malini’s will emerge with positive hope in their lives and become influencers of change for other children.
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