We’re delighted by the news that the Children’s HIV charity CHIVA has been chosen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as one of the seven charities they have selected to benefit from donations marking their wedding. The couple have asked that anyone who might wish to give them a wedding gift instead considers supporting one of the personally chosen charities.
CHIVA, which can be found on Twitter here, is the voice of children and young people in the UK, and here at the Heartlands HIV Service we co-operate very closely with them. The charity aims to ensure that every child with HIV in the UK has optimum healthcare and social support to enable them to live well with HIV, and to tackle HIV related stigma and discrimination and raise awareness and understanding of HIV.
As part of that effort, CHIVA holds an annual camp each summer. This week-long residential support camp takes place every August. CHIVA invites 100 children aged 11-16 to attend the week which focusses on supporting HIV knowledge and understanding and supporting self esteem and confidence building, whilst enabling children to build friendships with each other, which they can maintain after camp, providing critical ongoing support with the challenges HIV can bring to their lives.
Through events such as these and other activities, CHIVA staff provide support to address some of the wider impacts HIV can have on young people’s lives and offer support to families with more complex issues, providing direct support to children and their families outside clinic settings. Helping children understand HIV, and support with issues such as managing their HIV medicine on a daily basis. CHIVA also provides expertise and advice to wider professionals working with families living with HIV.
If any of our under-sixteens patients would like to talk to us about camp and CHIVA, we’d be happy to discuss further. Congratulations to the charity on their much deserved recognition.