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There are millions young people living with HIV around the world. We live our lives. We are planning our futures. We have absolutely the same priorities as other young people and as generations before us. We want to achieve our goals, we want our parents to be proud of us, we want to be healthy and successful, we want to find true love and one day settle down and start a family. We are absolutely the same as you are! We just have an HIV positive status and nothing more or less. As you are, we can be useful in different areas and fields. We can be good experts and professionals. As you are we want all our dreams come true. But how can positive youth be sure about the future if we still don’t have universal access to HIV treatment?
Life saving HIV treatment was developed years ago. Last century! If positive people have access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and receive it on time we can live long life and be in good health. But unfortunately universal access doesn’t yet exist.
When treatment is interrupted, the virus can mutate and become resistant to drugs, which makes future treatment less effective and more expensive, and risks our health further.
How can we make plans for the future if we can’t be sure people care about us today?
If a HIV positive person starts to take ART – it should be taken daily and on time till the end of his/her life. Yes, it’s hard to be on meds. Yes, it’s hard to get daily reminder that you’ve been infected. But much harder to understand is that some people prefer to ignore our needs, be blind and don’t give due attention to the current state of treatment access.
We are young! We are positive! We are a new generation!
We, young people living with HIV, are getting tired of the lack of essential medicines that determine whether we live or die. It is our right to have the highest attainable standard of health and in the case of PLHIV this means ART. It’s our future and also future of our countries! Without the necessary drugs we will die.
Around the world positive youth face interruptions of essential antiretroviral therapy everyday. Those interruptions have irreversible consequences to our health and threaten our lives.
We need people to understand it and try their best to change this situation!
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This article was written by Maria Alekseeva, of Russia, a member of the Global Network of People Living with HIV, Y+ Advisory Group