Our HIV-positive Women's Networks provide essential care. Many children & adolescents are traumatised by loss of at least one parent to HIV/AIDS and by the knowledge that they carry a life-threatening virus and are now also exposed to Covid-19. They need counselling and support to cope with the medical, social and psychological impact of HIV combined with all the usual teenage concerns. We support 950 vulnerable children living with HIV in south India and now provide medical assistance directly.
Government HIV services need assistance. For instance, there is no special support for adolescents even though 80% of children with HIV are now at this difficult age. Children are becoming sick again due to irregular, refused or late change of treatment. Older adolescents take inappropriate decisions regarding sex and marriage. Government hospitals admit only the critically ill, but they do not provide palliative care, unfortunately now needed by some guardians, children and others with HIV.
We assist government services by providing vulnerable HIV affected children & adolescents with emergency support, counselling and encouragement. We ensure they are given, and take, upgraded drug regimens promptly and continue in education. We prepare older adolescents for adult life by discussing puberty, sexuality, relationships, safer sex and marriage plans. We now directly provide free medical care: half-way-house treatment and palliative care for children, guardians and others with HIV.
We will guide this last generation of children living with HIV to increase their chances of growing up normally to have a long and productive adult life, married and with healthy children. We will give priority to the adolescent girls and young women since they have more complex needs. This generation will become role models, will not infect others and will be able to advise their peers on life with HIV and HIV prevention. In short, the project contributes to an HIV, Aids and Covid free future.