Book Examines Experiences of Children With HIV/AIDS, Addresses Treatment, Care, Support Issues
A new book -- titled "Teenagers, HIV and AIDS" -- examines the experiences of children in the Washington, D.C.-area who are living with HIV/AIDS and also addresses medical, treatment and support issues related to the disease, the Washington Post reports.
The book, edited by Children's Hospital psychologist Maureen Lyon and physician Lawrence D'Angelo, provides "plain-talk" advice to newly diagnosed teenagers and also is aimed at health care providers, school leaders and parents, the Post reports. According to the Post, the number of new HIV cases among teenagers ages 13 to 19 is increasing, with "thousands" of teenagers in the U.S. receiving diagnoses annually. The book notes that these figures should be followed by "compassion and very tailored conversation" because each aspect of the disease can be different among children, the Post reports.
Adam Tenner, executive director of the district-based Metro TeenAIDS, said the book helps "bear witness," adding, "Too many young people are frightened to talk about their own HIV or the HIV of their friends." According to Tenner, one "of our biggest obstacles to healing our communities is getting rid of the stigma." One of the book's contributing authors said that "[m]anaging a life-threatening and socially stigmatized illness is emotionally difficult and challenging for adults," adding, "It is even more difficult for adolescents, who are more vulnerable and less prepared to deal with a health crisis of this magnitude, much less deal with it alone" (Levine, Washington Post, 1/8).
A Post interview with a 19-year-old, HIV-positive Prince George's County, Md., resident is available online.