Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hope and HIV

If you have a chance to read this short article:  When HIV babies become adults @  

These young people are so inspirational to me.  They have had to deal with realities far too early and have been shaped by things outside of their control that most of us spend a lot of energy trying to avoid: illness, pain, death, loneliness.  Their snapshot stories carry grit and hope. 

This story hit me hard on several levels:
1.  Hope.  Over the last handful of decades the stigma, cruelty, and judgment of HIV/AIDS patients is being chipped away at.  At least to the point where our newspapers run stories about these brave young people. And there is money and time being invested in treatment and cures, and in turn babies born with HIV worldwide.
2.  Awareness.  Public Health Education makes a difference.  I mean - is this me validating my undergrad degree or what? , but seriously - awareness works on our fears and can change behavior.
3. Resilience.  Can you imagine developing as a human with your identity already wrapped around something like HIV/AIDS?  I mean, not just being sick, but people being overtly afraid of the sickness you have?  As a preschooler?  a teenager?  ... your peers; their parents?  And taking experimental drugs that have life-altering side-effects?  And doing this while bouncing from home to home because your parent/s died of the same thing?  These young pioneers, (not due to their choice, but because of their willingness), are a picture of resilience.

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