Six years ago we came across a boy. He was 11 years old. His parents had died of HIV. His grandmother was looking after him.
Tarun (not his real name) was also HIV positive.
When we first met him, he kept falling sick. He had TB. His skin was infected. He kept falling sick – with his grandmother bringing him to the clinic every 2 weeks or so with some sickness or other.
We then started him on Anti-Retroviral Therapy. This was well before the government was providing the medications. We bought the meds from the market and subsidised the medications – with a small monthly contribution coming from the boy’s family.
Today Tarun is 17 years old. He has finished his class 10. He is working at a part time job. He is growing young man.
It all seemed so impossible then. But we have seen how 5 years of ART have benefitted a boy who we thought may die in 2005.
By God’s grace our government has opened up ART centres in many parts of the country. To get these medications free of cost is a great blessing. Spend a moment to thank God for the Government health system.
Tarun has been receiving his medications from the local ART centre now for the past 3 years. Your taxpayer money and mine help support this life-saving intervention. Lets make sure it gets used though.
Get the word out that ART medications are available free for those who need them. Encourage friends and family members with HIV to get tested and treated. If you are affected yourself – then take a deep breath – and make a big step towards life. Go and see what can be done.
There is always hope. Step into life. Lets move forward!