The summer is almost gone… However, stories of families and children supported by the MAMA+ project staff members are not ending.
First of all, we would like to thank you for supporting our work and update you on our activities. This summer, we started to hold sessions for HIV-positive women to develop their digital skills and financial competences. At the sessions, the young mothers learn to use video communication applications, pay utility bills, register for children’s allowances and make a medical appointment online, apply for banking products, and ensure personal safety on the internet. We also launched a peer mentorship program: women who overcame the crisis successfully and accepted their diagnosis will support those who have just learned about their HIV status.
Here is a story of a family who is presently in acute need of our help.
Annais22. She contacted MAMA+ right after giving birth to a child. Anna comes from Kemerovo. Upon graduating the orphanage, she used to stay at her friends’, as she had no housing on her own and took no steps to enforce her housing rights. In 2020, Anna met a young man who infected her with HIV. He was addicted to drugs and tried to engage Anna in drug use and distribution. The girl decided to escape from this situation, and in 2020 she moved to St. Petersburg. She settled in a rehabilitation center where she used to reside and carry out casual works (dish wash, cooking, etc.). Shortly upon her move, Anna found that she was pregnant. At the premature clinic, she was informed she had HIV. Refusing to accept the diagnosis, Anna did not attend the AIDS Center while she was pregnant. Nor she took the medication to prevent the transmission of HIV to her child.
The baby was premature. Upon his birth, Vitya was placed in children’s hospital where he received preventive treatment. MAMA+ staff members made a visit to the maternity hospital in order to prevent the woman from abandoning her child and provide her with crisis support.
After the baby was discharged from the hospital, the project staff visiting the family pointed out that the woman had no skills of baby care, could not assess the boy’s needs. Besides, the child is not registered with the AIDS Center and the children’s outpatient hospital. The woman is out of the medical monitoring either, as she did not accept the diagnosis. The project responded with active patronage of the family. Several times a week, the staff members make visits to the family, examining the baby, bringing food and baby formulas. The project psychologist provides the woman with consultations on accepting the diagnosis and baby care issues. Within a month, the project staff registered Anna and her baby at the AIDS Center and the outpatient clinic. The woman received medical examinations and tests and started to take the therapy. The boy took the first PCR testing for HIV which did not reveal the infection. Wehopethatthebabyishealthy. The project assisted Anna in registering for allowances, arranging space for her son, purchasing clothes and child care items. We also involved legal experts to assist Anna in addressing the housing issue.
Now Vitya is still weak and needs specialized milk formulas and medication. The medical examination revealed nervous system disorders and weight deficit.
We believe that due to your support we will help Anna become a wonderful mother, turn confident and independent, to make sure that Vitya can grow a healthy and happy boy in his family.