| Jan 25, 2023
HEALTHY AND THRIVING
21-year-old *Christina joined Alive Medical Services in 2011 while she was still a little girl. Christina recalls being transferred from another facility to Alive Medical Services as taking daily medication was her routine. Christina was orphaned to AIDS which took both her parents transfered to Watoto Child Care organization that takes care of vulnerable children mostly those living with HIV.
“I clearly don’t remember how I joined Watoto, but it was my aunt who took me there when my remaining parent died. I don’t recall the process.”
Just like any 10-year-old in school who is told AIDs kills, Christina knew the reason why she was taking medication, and this brought a lot of self-stigma within her. “
“When I was at home, I would act like I am strong and so, but when I reached school, it was the vice versa because I saw how AIDS slowly took away my parents and I thought I was heading the same direction. Taking medication wasn’t so important to me so I always found a way to pretend, collect the tablets and find a way to throw it without anyone noticing.”
When Christina was brought to Alive Medical Services for her first visit, she was not convinced when she was told by the counsellor that there were more children just like her and doing well.
“The first time I came, I only saw adults, so it was not easy for me to get in line until I was connected to the youth days.”
The youth days at Alive Medical Services are days specified for the adolescents, children and young people living with HIV. These days are designated to assist young people on adherence and live a stigma free and healthy life.
Today Christina celebrates over 10 years of positive living and health. She currently completed an administration short course and works as a data entrant. Christina applauds Alive Medical Services and thanks them for getting her out of the box of self-stigma and realising her potentials.
“Alive Medical Services follows you up, they don’t give up, sometimes you get tired of their calls, but they will still find a way to reach out to you. If someone who isn’t your family does that, don’t take it for granted. The young people around are friendly, I have gotten mentors and every day a look up to them. HIV is not labelled anywhere on me unless I tell you I have it.”