“I am very happy that I have received a bicycle and school uniform. Due to the bicycle, I am now able to go to school more easily. I am also able to go to quickly pick up the antiretroviral medicine that I need for my health, all on my own,” Yamone explains.
Yamone’s confidence has continued to soar with support from her peer health networks. Now she speaks openly about her HIV status in order to raise awareness among young people in her community.
Education and awareness not only helps to reduce stigma, but is crucial to helping children and youth recognise and understand the symptoms and implications of HIV and AIDS. This can encourage young people to seek medical assistance early on and prevent new HIV infections.
Additionally, for children who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive, this will help ensure they do not slip out of care and continue to receive life-saving support, reducing the number of adolescent deaths in years to come.