Examining Experiences Of Children With HIV/AIDS

Armen Hareyan's picture

A new book -- titled "Teenagers,HIV and AIDS" -- examines the experiences of children in theWashington, D.C.-area who are living with HIV/AIDS and also addressesmedical, treatment and support issues related to the disease, theWashington Postreports.

The book, edited by Children'sHospital psychologist Maureen Lyon and physician LawrenceD'Angelo, provides "plain-talk" advice to newly diagnosedteenagers and also is aimed at health care providers, school leadersand parents, the Post reports. According to the Post,the number of new HIV cases among teenagers ages 13 to 19 isincreasing, with "thousands" of teenagers in the U.S.receiving diagnoses annually. The book notes that these figuresshould be followed by "compassion and very tailoredconversation" because each aspect of the disease can bedifferent among children, the Post reports.

AdamTenner, executive director of the district-based MetroTeenAIDS, said the book helps "bear witness," adding,"Too many young people are frightened to talk about their ownHIV or the HIV of their friends." According to Tenner, one "ofour biggest obstacles to healing our communities is getting rid ofthe stigma." One of the book's contributing authors said that"[m]anaging a life-threatening and socially stigmatized illnessis emotionally difficult and challenging for adults," adding,"It is even more difficult for adolescents, who are morevulnerable and less prepared to deal with a health crisis of thismagnitude, much less deal with it alone" (Levine, WashingtonPost, 1/8).

Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and signup for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is publishedfor kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.