Growing Up Positive

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A special one-hour presentation of Growing Up Positive will air Sunday April 6 at 4pm on 93.9 FM and 3pm on AM 820

Monday March 17 during Morning Edition
Siomara is one of thousands of children who became HIV-infected at birth and have had HIV their whole lives. This generation is the last to be infected that way and the first to survive into adulthood with the benefit of recent drugs. Siomara, a 19-year-old, HIV-positive woman who has outlived her brother, mother, and one sister, talks about missing her mother, dating, and the possibility of having children. Photo by Cat

Tuesday March 18 during Morning Edition
Ashley's story traces the impact of new medications that have made survival possible. Ashley is the twelve-year-old adoptive daughter of Robin. They discuss Ashley's early illness and her phoenix-like recovery.

Wednesday March 19 during Morning Edition
New medications have posed grave difficulties for many young people with HIV. Because they've had so many pills foisted on them over the years - and, in some cases, have developed resistance that requires them to take as many as 25 pills a day - many teens cannot bring themselves to swallow the pills that could save their lives. We feature Lina, a 19-year-old whose health is slipping as she struggles with her meds.

Thursday March 20 during Morning Edition
Many more young people with HIV are now living into their twenties, taking on grown-up roles and responsibilities. We'll follow Joey Di Paolo (23) as he grapples with his future. DiPaolo garnered much media attention after going public with his infection at age 10 after parents protested his attendance at a Brooklyn middle school. Recently, Joey decided to become a phlebotomist but was discouraged from that career path when the training program he was attending refused to let him draw blood.

Bella* And Adonis
Friday March 21 during Morning Edition
The final section deals with how knowledge of their infections shapes children's lives. Bella, a young woman from the Bronx, recalls trying to commit suicide after learning about her diagnosis - and the years of difficulties that followed. We hear from Harlem Hospital pediatrician Stephen Nicholas that HIV-positive adolescents' emotional problems often overwhelm their medical ones. Bella, though, seems to be becoming more stable after the recent birth of her son.
*not their real names
Health and Education Alternatives for Teens
NYC Dept. of Health
The City Health Department's AIDS prevention site
Information about organizations that provide HIV/AIDS-related services in New York City
Montefiore Children's Hospital
Local and national resource for those living with HIV/AIDS; adolescents who are at-risk and healthcare providers