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Empowering young lives in tackling HIV

We are not there yet

As much as we claim to live in a civilised society where we should not segregate people based on their medical condition, the truth of the matter is that there is still a considerable level of discrimination to persons suffering from some diseases, with HIV/Aids patient particularly sidelined. Even more disturbing is the apparent lack of awareness among the young people of this country on how to live with their status as HIV infected persons. The society in particular has not made it easy for this group of people to feel as though they are  part of it. You have probably heard of cases where a young person had quite a number of friends and lost them all or remained with either one or two as soon as he/she revealed his/her HIV status. There is no questioning the fact that our young people are informed and have got all the education they need to know about HIV/Aids. However, for some unknown reason, quite a number of them still discriminate against their peers who have that medical condition. This is a typical case of being educated and not being learned.

Our future is at stake

These people are the future of this country and it is about time they learnt some virtues in the society such as being able to empathise with a sick person and being there for them instead of leaving them at their hour of need. On the other hand, the young people of this great nation who have realised that they are HIV positive tend to isolate themselves for the very fear of discrimination. In isolated cases, some of them embark on the risky path of spreading the virus to unsuspecting friends. All of these are brought about by a lack of an open forum where the youth can freely discuss their challenges in life and view HIV like just any other challenge they may encounter.

What is the way forward?

It is about time the youth started viewing HIV as just any other challenge, such that a young person who fails his college exams and one with HIV can freely talk about both scenerios, give each other words of encouragement and move on with life while tackling those problems. Just the same way failure to get a place in a university or middle-level college is not failure in life, it is the same way as having HIV, which is certainly not a death sentence. We have provided an online platform where young people can freely talk about HIV without any fear and the beauty of it all is that they can log in with whichever usernames they wish, just like on facebook and twitter in case they prefer anonymity. We have a team of skilled counselors who will be giving pieces of advice for those in the forum and experiences are shared and inspirational testimonies given by those young people who have not let their HIV status to determine their future. A young person who fails to make it to college or university and gives up in life is worse off than a young person who is HIV positive but has never thought for a second about giving up.

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Happy Clients

Some of those who have been inspired

You guys are the family and friends I never had. You gave me strength at my weakest point and I am grateful that I found reason to face life once more. This is the place for all young people indeed.  
By Yasmin Freeman

Happy Clients

Some of those who have been inspired

I have a friend who is HIV+ and I have to thank you guys for the great insights you have given me. I have never seen him as any less of a brother ever since and as a matter of fact, we are in the same football team and are having the time of our lives!   
By Ben Campbell
New World Realty