HIV has come of age in Malawi. People living with the disease are no longer passive beneficiaries. After more than a decade of receiving health and nutrition training, HIV Support Groups, mobilized under Catholic Relief Services’ IMPACT Program, are today the torchbearers of a healthy lifestyle and HIV awareness in their communities. The groups have brought economic empowerment to themselves through the start of village savings and loan groups. They’re spreading the gospel of kitchen gardens and good nutrition through community cooking sessions. They’re even helping to shoulder some of Malawi’s health care burden by providing home-based care to those who are chronically ill. A decade ago, no one could foresee that HIV positive people would ever be anything but a burden on Malawi’s health care system, much less active contributors to Malawi’s development.
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