There is a saying that goes "when spiders unite, they can tie up a lion."
The members of the Education Fights AIDS (EFA) associations have tied up many lions! And they have done it together, unified.
There are countless instances where the members, all young people infected or affected with HIV, have overcome significant obstacles to fight stigma and to help assure fair access to medical treatment.
One of the most incredible stories of late is about Sarah and the lion of stigma that the association members tied up. Sarah is a member of EFA’s Youth Empowerment Network and during this past year, her HIV progressed to such a degree that she had to begin anti-retroviral treatment to stay healthy.
The stigma in this story came from Sarah’s mother who refused to allow her daughter to take the medication and instead saw her HIV+ status as a punishment and blamed Sarah for becoming infected in the first place.
Sarah’s fellow association members flew into action. They first gained the support and understanding of Sarah’s siblings. The siblings and some of the association members approached Sarah’s mother and convinced her to care for and support her daughter on her road to recovery. However, the story does not end there. The support of the associations did not end there. The association members visited Sarah time and time again. It became evident that even though the mother was now committed to helping Sarah and caring for her, she did not know how to best help.
The association members flew into action again to support Sarah with individualized trainings for Sarah and her mother about the ins and outs of treatment, adherence, dosage and timing. Over the course of just a few weeks, Sarah’s improvement was dramatic. She is doing more than just surviving, she is thriving. The network of support has surely saved Sarah’s life.
Through the Circle of Love, you can help to assure that we have more stories like Sarah’s. The formula is simple…assure that people have access to the medical treatment that they need and provide the social support so that the treatments are successful.
With your support, as another “spider”, we can continue to tie up more lions. Thank you for uniting with us and for joining in our efforts.
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