FACES creates communities where adolescents living with HIV can thrive

Stigma is a challenge for anyone living with HIV, but the pain can be especially acute for adolescents. FACES staff heard emotional testimonials at a recent workshop to help them improve their adolescent services. A 19-year-old woman in Kisumu shared this harrowing story:


"At first my principal was somehow very supportive. Then one day there was an inspection and my drugs were found and taken. My father called and quarreled with the principal. The principal called an assembly and disclosed my [HIV] status to the entire school. 


It was hell. I stopped taking my drugs for two years. I wanted to leave school. I was ready to die. I took a whole bottle of ARVs.”


Some youth deal with being shunned by family or community, like this 20-year-old woman:


“Life becomes unbearable. I was rejected. I was thrown away from my home. But, life has to go on.


At times I could throw meds away. I used to ask myself so many questions. Why me? What did I do wrong?"


FACES is committed to providing adolescents with life-saving medical treatment and a community in which they can thrive. Peer leaders at our adolescent centers work alongside healthcare providers to help adolescents take charge of their health. They cultivate an environment where youth can express themselves through art and music, play sports, learn and experience community support.