Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Aids and the Stigma - How it affects the children

According to the United Nations, close to 40 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS - almost 1/2 are women. The complications of this disease when it comes to women, is many will not know they are infected until they are pregnant - this in turn adds to the number of new infections each year - 90% are mother-to-child transmissions.

Do these statistics seem unbelievable? I thought so at first, but is was for that reason that I did not realize the number of children infected.

When the first realizations of this disease came to light more than 20 years ago there was a stigma for certain people, whether they were infected or not and for a long that is where it stayed. Though acceptance is a little better - the stigma remains and focuses on the children, the innocent ones. They did not ask for the disease, yet they receive the repercussions of it and are cast off by many who fear and do not understand.

The stigma, especially when it starts as such a young child, can bring a distorted view of life. So, for the children of AIDS/HIV maybe more than medication and doctors, they need love, they need support and the strength to face a life that may be difficult. With support they will be strong, break the stigma and bring knowledge to the world.