Auntie Stella

4. I’m looking after someone with AIDS

Theme: Living with HIV and AIDS
Relationships with family and community
Changing Society

Dear Auntie Stella

I am a 15 year-old girl and I am very worried about this AIDS. Two years ago my uncle’s wife died. Then he came to live with us. Now he is very ill and my mother told me he has AIDS. He has lost so much weight and is looking very bad. He stays in bed all day.

Now I am worried that I might catch the disease because he doesn’t have his own plate or toilet and I often help my mother to look after him. Please tell me what I should do because I am worried that if I stay around him and breathe the same air I will also get this illness. Auntie, should I move out? 


Talking points

  • Do you know how HIV is spread? Make a list of how you and other people think you can get HIV. Go carefully through the list and cross out any ideas that are not based on facts. Make sure you and your friends know the difference between HIV and AIDS.

  • Is Petronella right to be afraid about getting AIDS from her uncle? Is there a big risk, some risk or a very small risk? Is there anything she needs to do to protect herself?

  • What can Petronella’s friends and neighbours do to help her uncle and her family?  Who else can help?

  • If there are people who are sick with AIDS in your community:

a Who looks after them? b What problems do they have and why? c What problems are there for the people who care for them and why? d What solutions can you think of to these problems?