Stabi* looks like she is 9, but she is actually 14 years old. Her parents died a couple of years ago, most likely from AIDS. She now lives with her 19 year-old brother and his 22 year-old girlfriend. Stabi is HIV positive. Her mother probably passed the virus to her at birth or through breastfeeding when Stabi was an infant. Thankfully, despite being HIV-positive where entire life, she is still doing quite well and has not succumbed to opportunistic infections yet. Her home situation is far from, as often younger siblings of teenager-headed households see things and get involved in things they should not experience. Our SOH staff are keeping closely involved in her life and do frequent follow-ups, reaffirming that Stabi is not on her own, and there are people who are looking out for her.
*names changed; some photos not necessarily of article subject