“I have realized that life can begin again and neither HIV nor TB can affect my future.” - shared after meeting the peer members of the support group of adolescents living with HIV
Thalapathy, 15 years old is a HIV positive adolescent and studying 10th in a government school. He is living with his widowed mother who is also living with HIV. His father died of AIDS when he was three years old and Thalapathy has not been informed of his HIV status.
Though he was affected from birth, his mother had been very protective of him. He was not provided with information related to HIV and because his immunity was good, he was not advised treatment either.
Recently, he had complaints of severe head-ache, weight loss and blood vomit that shook both his mother and himself that he approached Buds of Christ center. He was immediately taken to the government hospital and in the routine testing, it was found that his immunity had become low and thus he was further affected by Tuberculosis. This became a big shock for him, as he had just come to know about his status and that he had to take treatment for the two infections (HIV and TB).
Initially he found it hard to adjust to the treatment, as the side effects were very severe. But when he met with the peer members of the support group who shared their experiences of taking treatment and how their health conditions have improved; he was assured that these symptoms were only for a short-while and he can live life with dignity and hope. He is regular now on both the Treatments (HIV and TB) and is fervent in an ambition that he would share with children like him living with HIV, how he overcame his life challenges.
He also adds that “I have a dream and I am sure I will definitely achieve it. I thought I was going to die , and the side effects caused me more pain. But when I met friends like me living with HIV and coping so positively I now have the hope and I have realized that life can begin again.”