by Martina Schwikowski, IPS, Italy - Maureen Phiri, 18, has a soft voice and a strong message about HIV and young people in her country. “In Malawi, people are still in denial because of cultural beliefs. Traditional leaders and churches are denying the disease. Let us gather those leaders and hear from young people what is really happening.”
Phiri, an activist who lives with HIV, belongs to the Baylor Teen Club in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. The club is part of a programme that provides medical care and psycho-social support to HIV-positive adolescents, of whom Malawi has 91,000.