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Alice Aehl


Children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS face tremendous challenges, many of which are created or intensified by the disease itself. Whether it is anger, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, poor educational performance or feelings of hopelessness, our programs unite community volunteers, H.E.R.O. children and trained facilitators to develop the life skills necessary for the children to begin to overcome these challenges. The average child living with HIV takes between 15 and 20 pills a day. These pills, often described as “Gasoline Pills” due to their taste, only become effective when taken in a cycle. During the first 2 month cycle, the children feel WORSE because their body is adjusting to the new medicine and often rejects it causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. Once this first 2 month cycle is over the children begin to feel better and the body adjusts to the large intake of medicine. However, if the children fail to adhere to this regimen consistently the cycle starts over and the 2 month period of vomiting and diarrhea begins again. When children stop taking their medicine (because of the awful taste) they often never want to go back on it again because of the immediate 2 month transition. UGA HEROs helps by raising money to support the programs offered by H.E.R.O for Children, INC. H.E.R.O. provides numerous programs, each accomplishing a specific goal. The Super HERO Mentoring Program matches a volunteer from the community to one of our children. The mentors and child participate in a range of fun activities. Some of the kids we help would not have the opportunity to travel outside of their neighborhood and experience museums, plays, sporting events, and other great activities. The Super HERO mentor opens up the world to his/her child. By providing an outlet from the everyday world of HIV/AIDS our kids can be children again – laughing, smiling, and not worrying about their disease.



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