One of the projects in Malawi is the Teen Club Program, funded by The Global Fund which is based in Switzerland and specializes in fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The project takes place in four regions: Balaka, Sanje, Chikwawa, and Mangochi. This program is for teens who have tested positive for HIV and their friends. Receiving this diagnosis is truly devastating and life-shattering for teenagers. This is why the Teen Club Program exists.
The purpose is to bring value back into the lives of teens with HIV as well as those around them. Through counseling, the teens are better mentally prepared to take their diagnosis well, should they receive a positive test result. Then, if they are positive, they require further counseling to accept their diagnosis and to feel motivated to seek treatment.
Many teens refuse to take their medication, due to side effects that affect one’s physical appearance that were once common. These side effects no longer exist due to improvements in the medication; however, the stigma has remained. This is another target issue for the program. By having the medication available at the Teen Club and working 1-on-1 with the teens to encourage them to seek treatment, their life span and quality of life is greatly increased.
There are also activities for the teens to engage in which allow them to engage with other teens in the program. This includes music, soccer, net ball, and others.
Overall, the Teen Club Program provides a safe space for HIV positive teens and their friends to seek mental, physical, and social healing.
- At the end of 2020, it was estimated that 37.7 million people were living with HIV, two thirds of whom lived in Africa.
- In Malawi, 8.1% of adults ages 15-49 are currently living with HIV.
 “Malawi.” UNAIDS, July 11, 2019. https://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/malawi