[Volunteer Rosemary Wilson kept a journal of her experiences during this summer’s annual program visit. This excerpt describes her visit to Wen Xiang Ge Group Home where several PATS children live together and receive care.]
We were shown down the hall where neat piles of school exercise books were piled on tables. Each child’s work was also very neat; even tiny, five-year-old Zhen Zhen, with her yellow dress and sticking up pigtails, had written her letters and numbers perfectly in her book.
Zhen Zhen’s HIV-positive birth parents abandoned her in a park when she was about 2, leaving a note asking someone to take care of her. She was taken in by a family, but then they learned she was HIV-positive they took her to Anhui and left her there. During our visit, she earnestly told PATS advisor Mr. Wang that she knew her best chance to survive was living at Wen Xiang Ge Home.
This group home model is currently being evaluated to compare its efficacy to that of other models for care. Staff members were working on a poster to present at the upcoming AIDS conference in Vienna. Charts showed CD4 counts and viral loads of these children compared to those in care in private homes, as well
as the difference in overhead costs.
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