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Once a month she meets with other teenagers living with HIV at the centre.
Here adolescents living with the virus come together to talk about their concerns.
Food security and dealing with abusive relatives are a bigger challenge, Sarero says.“These are not easy issues and we partner with other organisations,” says Sarero.
“As an organisation, we can only do so much.”But for Dlamini, the organisation makes a big difference to her life.
“I had a bad rash all over my body and this affected my performance at school because I was absent most of the time.”Her father, a mineworker, died in 2001.
He explains that, while adolescents have to grapple with physical and emotional changes – demands of culture; gender; globalisation and poverty have pushed millions of adolescents to handling adult responsibilities.“These challenges are compounded for adolescents living with HIV/AIDS,” says Blank.Dlamini’s friends at school also do not know about her status because she is worried about the stigma and discrimination that remains rife in Swaziland. Almost 26 percent of the population between the ages of 15 to 49 are HIV-positive.Dlamini only discovered her status six years after her HIV-positive father died.“I had always been a sickly child and my mother took me to traditional healers but my condition did not improve,” she says.Dlamini’s mother kept taking her to traditional healers until their relatives advised her to seek medical help.
In 2007 mother and daughter were referred to the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Swaziland (BCMCFS) for HIV counselling and testing.
Most of the members of the club do not look their age because of stunted growth.