It takes a village to care for the children in our Acres of Love Forever Homes. When we began our work in 1998, many children who came to our care were incredibly ill with AIDS. Without pediatric anti-retroviral therapies available, it was often a death sentence for our very sick children. A humble but brilliant doctor came alongside our work and shaped the way we care for children with HIV. An expert in the field, Dr. Leon Levin was knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful to our team as we sought to offer the very best care to our children. When our first child started on ARV’s 15 years ago, Dr. Levin ensured that she had exactly the right cocktail to combat the virus in her small body. Since then, he has helped countless other children in our care and has continued to train our staff on best practices with HIV and ARV’s.
Earlier this week he came for another HIV training and we reflected on the road he has walked with all of our families. We are so grateful for how far we have come in treating AIDS and HIV. In the early days of our work, our children with HIV required numerous drugs a day to stay healthy. Now, many of our children take only one combination pill each day to manage HIV, and we haven’t lost a child to AIDS in over a decade. Our team transports our children with HIV to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre where they have access to amazing medical care and are able to check blood counts, receive medications based on their current weight, and participate in support groups. As our children are growing into their teens and young twenties, these layers of support are helping empower them to understand HIV and make healthy choices for a long and healthy life. We are thankful that medical advances have come so far that we are able to look ahead at our children’s futures with hope!