WHAT’S IT LIKE?
When you get involved with Chiva, you can expect:
- To be welcomed and encouraged to take part at your own pace, be yourself and fulfil your potential
- To be valued and included, and get support to access activities if needed
- To meet other young people who may share some of the experiences you’ve had, and who are at different stages in their journey of living with HIV and feel differently about discussing HIV
- To be supported by volunteers who are living with HIV and staff with many years of experience
- For HIV to be talked about without stigma or fear
- For travel costs to be covered and food to be provided
- To have fun!
What do young people say?
Watch this video to get a flavour of our annual Freedom 2 Be support camp.
Camp opened my eyes: Hope’s story
‘My name’s Hope. I was told I had HIV when I was 12 and a half years old. To be honest I never knew what HIV was so I wasn’t fussed at first, until I got curious and started looking it all up; what HIV was, how it affected you, and how you could get it. It came up with death, AIDS and that if you cut yourself your HIV would spread. Reading this kind of hit me bad, I started thinking I would die and that I was this infectious thing that had something wrong with me that wasn’t curable.
“That was until I met Abi at the hospital a few weeks later at my appointment. She spoke to me about meeting some other girls my age who also had HIV, and she explained what it was and how HIV actually worked. So I went to a meeting with these new people who were going through the same thing as me – it made me see that HIV isn’t what everyone said it was, and that it’s not as infectious as I thought.
“Then I got introduced to camp – meeting even more people with HIV. Camp really did open my eyes – telling me the truth about HIV and how you can’t die from it if you take your medication. Going through all this made me into a better person that wants to make a difference and make sure other children, teens and adults never go through the same thing as I did.“
Still wondering what it might be like to reach out and find others? Try watching some video messages from young people living with HIV.
If you’ve taken part in Chiva activities
We want young people to learn what it’s like to get involved with Chiva directly from their peers. If you would like to help by telling us about your journey with Chiva, please email us at [email protected]