In the US, NYHAAD is on April 10th. This day is designed to raise awareness of the impact that HIV and AIDS has on the lives of our young people. It is important to note that impact doesn’t necessarily equate with diagnosis. Many of the young people connected with our charity do not have a diagnosis of HIV but nevertheless, their lives have been impacted.
The impact comes from having parents who are often exhausted by small tasks, having absent parents due to bereavement, having parents who struggle to maintain employment due to the need to take days off for hospital visits. Obviously as medicine and knowledge progresses, fewer families are impacted negatively but as a family based charity, we work with those who need the most help.
Our team of volunteers work at the weekends and during the school holidays as part of our outreach service. A key part of what we do is taking the children out for group outings. Not all of the children in our care know about the HIV diagnosis that one or more of their family has which is why we have a tailored group specifically for those who do. The aim is to show them that they are not the only children impacted by HIV, they have a whole group of peers who know what they’re going through.