At the beginning of the 1990s, there was a bleak outlook for those living with HIV. By the start of the twenty-first century, children born with this virus were graduating high school, attending trade schools or colleges, and holding down jobs.
Along with proper medical care, attitude appears to be essential. Those who keep themselves mentally active, have a sense of purpose in their lives, and maintain a sense of humor appear able to successfully adapt to the continued uncertainties inherent in this disease. Despite the many stresses they must face, young adults with HIV need to be given the opportunity to develop and pursue their goals. In an article that appeared in the book Pediatric AIDS, Lori Wiener, Anita Septimus, and Christine Grady emphasized that if recognized and nurtured, young people with HIV have the potential to significantly contribute to society. The psychologist working with children and adolescents with HIV can play an essential role in helping these individuals overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Thus, for patients with HIV and for the mental health professionals involved in their care, the future is looking brighter every day.
See also: BIRTH DEFECTS; PREGNANCY
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Lori Wiener Staci Martin
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