The Village Keepers Mentoring Program provides support, guidance and motivation to HIV positive youth to assume control of their health and well-being by matching them with caring supportive adult role models.
WHY A MENTORING PROGRAM FOR HIV POSITIVE YOUTH?
Every hour, two youth between the ages of 13-24 is infected by HIV. Here in the Detroit metropolitan area, the number of HIV positive youth is growing at an alarming pace with many facing an array of problems. Some have been kicked out of their homes or abandoned by their families after disclosing their status. Some face discrimination by there peers, or have difficulty adhering to medical treatment.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control reveal that almost half of all new HIV infections occur among persons 25 years and younger. Linking HIV-infected youth to health care is difficult. Most HIV-infected youth do not receive adequate health care, even when it is available. Barriers to health care for these youth include lack of financial resources and/or insurance, mistrust of health care professionals, difficulty negotiating complex health care systems, complicated medical regimens, a shortage of providers with expertise in both HIV and adolescent medicine, and concerns about confidentiality. Fear, denial, homophobia, and cultural perspectives also contribute to a young person's reluctance to go for care.
HIV-positive youth have a wide range of psychosocial needs. They need emotional support to promote quality of life and treatment adherence. They need support to end isolation and to challenge discrimination. This why we at AIDS Partnership Michigan have added this mentoring component to our growing list of youth-focused and friendly services.
Far too many lack a supportive adult who can provide encouragement, guidance and a listening ear. AIDS Partnership Michigan can assist them with variety of the emotional, medical and physical needs. BUT, we can’t do it alone and our youth shouldn’t have to. WE NEED YOU!