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Year 2014

Helping HIV Positive Children Embrace Life

Group named `So What' is helping patients between 10 and 22 yrs of age deal with the virus and inculcate a positive outlook

Being a child with HIV can be a traumatic experience. Now, a group named `So What' aims to help patients, aged between 10 and 22, combat psychological issues and embrace life.

It is formed by a city NGO, Prayas, which is run by Dr Sanjeevani and Dr Vinay Kulkarni.

“This group is especially for those who are born with HIV and reaching adolescence,“ said Dr Sanjeevani Kulkarni, director of the NGO. “Our counselors noticed that many children show withdrawal symptoms and depression on reach ing puberty. When we spoke to them, we realised that they had issues and pre-conceived ideas related to family life.“

“They thought that they could never find happiness or love. While healthy children came up with many questions in a Sex Education workshop conducted by us two years ago, children born with HIV kept to themselves. This led us to start this group where they can share their life and discuss issues,“ she added.

The success of these workshops are evident as two HIV positive couples have opened up enough to fall in love and are planning to get married. “At the workshop, we educate them about sexuality and teach them to stick to medications, importance of drug adherence and positive approach towards life.“

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