Children are Plump and High-Spirited on ARV's.

Dr. Tahira Kootbodien

February 2006

I've been part of the ARV team for about 5 months. Despite the fact that I've been working in paediatrics since my internship, I suddenly found myself overwhelmed. Not just by the disease itself but by the children and their mums. Looking into the eyes of a sick young baby, seeing the obvious signs of HIV, how emaciated and ill the baby is and then to look into the eyes of the mother and try to understand what you see - shame, guilt, desperateness and an underlying hope. The beauty of my job is that I get to see them again and again and each time the baby is healthier, fatter and livelier until they graduate to riding the tricycles and then there's no holds barred! The baby's mum no longer a quiet, withdrawn, slightly hunched figure, becomes a happy, smiling and sometimes a visibly beautiful woman. It is obvious that ARVs work. In the short time I have been at G25, I've seen many pictures like the one I've just described.

It's funny though; that previously when I thought of HIV, the immediate picture that comes to mind is death, dying and a miserable existence. I see now just how far from the truth I've been. Living with HIV/AIDS is just that - it's about living and how you manage to make it work the best way you can.

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