Why a Camp?
The CHIVA Support Camp offers a unique opportunity for up to 100 young people living with HIV to be together in one place for 5 days. It gathers young people from all parts of the UK and Ireland, so they can meet each other, share experiences, build friendships and learn more about living well with HIV. Rather than hiding HIV, attendees are encouraged to talk openly about it and there are camp leaders and volunteers at camp who are also living with HIV, who act as role models and mentors. Camp is a lot of fun and many young people who attend describe it as 'life changing'.
Camp is a rite-of-passage experience that CHIVA believes all young people living with HIV in the UK and Ireland should have the chance to attend at least once. The young people get the chance to build lasting friendships and support to see them through their next stage in life. We know from the continued involvement of participants, that this is a very valuable part of their life. Many previous participants have gone on to become camp leader and key worker volunteers, and some have returned to camp as workshop facilitators, youth committee members, as part of the staff team, and to give a Ted-style talk about their experiences.