Challenges HIV-positive youth face
Social Problems
Feeling "old before my time"
Low Self-Esteem
Money Problems

Feeling "old before my time"

“Even though I am 22, I feel like a 40 year old! I have been through so many things that my friends haven’t and couldn’t even imagine going through. It makes me feel like I don’t fit in sometimes and that no one can really understand what I’m thinking. I don’t feel like a youth at all.”

When you're HIV positive you have probably been through a lot of experiences in life that people who are HIV negative don’t have to go through. Feeling like you are a lot older than your age is a common thing for youth who are HIV positive. When you are HIV positive you have to make a lot of decisions to stay healthy, like:

  1. Scheduling regular visits to the doctor.
  2. Planning how to get the appointments. (Do I need to call a taxi? How much money will it cost? Can my mom drive me?)
  3. Deciding about HIV meds. (Should I start taking meds? Do I need to switch meds?)
  4. If you are on meds—remembering to take them!

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE