Sunday, September 16, 2007

Home care support in Saraphi

2. Home care support in Saraphi

On 29August three CAM staff met with 10 people living with HIV/AIDS, in one group member’s house for half a day. Over a shared meal, provided by CAM, and the familiarity of their homes, the CAM staff encouraged the group members to be more open about their feelings regarding their life and HIV/AIDS. There were 4 men and 6 women, and all members participated fully and honestly. Firstly they were encouraged to think about the past-how did they feel when they first knew they had HIV? Without exception they all spoke of fear of being ill, shame and fear of dying. They were then encouraged to think and express how they feel now, 1year on from diagnosis, or even 6 years on for some in the group. They said they still have feelings of fear and shame, but less severe. Now they have a sense of hope through better knowledge and understanding about the virus and how to care for themselves. The advent of access to ARV medication has really helped too. Finally they were asked to express what they are concerned about regarding the future. Most spoke about their children and their future-what will happen to them when they become too sick to care for them? And will they stay healthy enough to keep working and supporting their family too? These thoughts and feelings were expressed through verbal expression as well as by use of artwork. When asked to draw what they dreamed about most wanting, they drew houses-many desire to have their own house rather than renting or relying on staying on the floor of a friends house-and those with children want to be able to leave security for their children. Through these explorations of feelings, CAM staff are able to empathize, encourage and together seek ways to ease some of the negative feelings that arise from living with HIV/AIDS.

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