What we've been up to this month:

CHIVA held a residential meeting for our Youth Committee in April.

The CHIVA Youth Committee (CYC) is a group of 12 young people with HIV. They hold several residential meetings a year and discuss campaigns they want to run. The have an important role influencing the work CHIVA undertakes and raise their current priorities. The CYC also engage with media to raise awareness and understanding of the experiences of children growing up with HIV. 

In April the CYC worked on a conference presentation they will be giving at the CHIVA national conference next month. They worked on a drama piece they will present, a survey of young patients on what they need from their clinics, and designed a poster for clinics. 

They also recorded some audio discussions which talk about our annual support camp. These will be uploaded to the secure site CHIVA produced just for children and young people with HIV www.ifonlyyouknew.org.uk for young people to listen to and learn more about our activities. 

Meetings also always include time to reflect on how people are coping at the moment and a chance to share some feelings and experiences.

The CYC were asked at the end of their meeting ‘How are you feeling about your HIV at the moment?’ Here are some of their responses:

  • ‘It helped me come of my bubble. At home we never talk about it. If I have questions my mum shuts me down. Here I can ask my friends questions’
  • ‘Basically - I just wish it could go away but that wish can’t come true, at home I get so angry, you wouldn’t believe how angry…'
  • ‘I’m feeling excited, I was proud of what I achieved last year, going to camp. I’m excited for the future, hopefully I’ll surpass my goals.’
  •  ‘I feel tired, I feel like I’ve just got to get on with it. I’ve had all the angles - ups and downs, I’m in a decent place right now, but it’s tiring maintaining that’.

CHIVA aims to support the CYC to have a strong voice representing their peers across the UK and for them to influence and shape the treatment and care of children with HIV, and offer them emotional and social support to help develop their resilience.