Children's HIV Association (CHIVA) Day
HIV in children and young people can present multiple challenges, not only in managing a long-term complex health condition but also the impacts of HIV related stigma. Many children and young people affected by HIV have suffered multiple bereavements, are or have been young carers and live in difficult socioeconomic conditions. Research shows these young people suffer poor self-esteem, higher than average mental health problems and high rates of suicide attempts. Due to the response of society to HIV, schools and friends are often not told about a child’s condition and this can result in feelings of extreme isolation for that child or young person.
We ran a one-day polo experience and workshop for six young people who were unable to attend the annual CHIVA camp, which is an opportunity for children to meet each other from around the country to reduce the feelings of isolation they feel. Around the polo experience we will run additional tailored sessions run by the CHIVA team.
"Coming from different environments whether it be a rough background at home or having HIV, its encouraging to do something like this because... its like for the moment you are out there ... there are more things in life to do that you have not already done before....that opportunity makes me think I could do something with horses and other stuff because its a change..."