Real lives

Human interest stories

Photo essays

Video clips


A story of bravery

By Georgiana Iofciu,
Close to You Foundation

It was a warm summer day when a shy teenager stepped in the office of Close to You Foundation. His confident way of walking and careless look were a mask for the sensitive boy, a mask which helps him go on… this is how we met Dragos.

Dragos was diagnosed HIV positive when he was twelve years old. It was a cold winter day when his parents were confirmed what they could not say out loud… their child was HIV positive. From that point forward, winter came in their hearts as well.

The shock was strongly felt as if something had broken inside of them: “It’s breaking my heart”, the mother used to say …

No one understood or accepted what they had found out…

All of a sudden, the playground and the adventures were substituted by frequent visits to the doctor, hospitalization periods and pills… lots of pills…

The child got scared of his mother’s grieved face, the silence was overwhelming, and so was the fact that he felt his parents were keeping something from him.

Supported by the social assistants as well as the medical staff, his parents told Dragos about the diagnosis, after that, they embraced the silence. Too many questions appeared which they could not answer, too many thoughts, too much anger… 

Dragos got involved in many programs which were run by the specialists of our foundation. A lot of work has been done on diagnosis disclosure, as well as on its psychological, social and physical implications.

Along with other beneficiaries of the foundation, Dragos formed the first support group, which helped them all overcome the difficult moments and find their own resources to fight the illness and accept the diagnosis. The group survived the time battle; they now have a very good relationship, and they became friends and have been supporting each other ever since.

The selfless spirit as well as the permanent care for this field determined Dragos to become a volunteer within the Close to You foundation, as it enabled him to get more involved in the fight against this terrible illness. Dragos has become a responsible young man, determined to fight as well as to enjoy anything life has to offer. Thanks to his way of being, Dragos is a very likable person, and he sets an example for all the others. Anytime he faces a problem, Dragos comes to our specialists for help, and they work together to find the best way to solve it.

Both he and his family will continue to get help throughout the programs of the foundation, which will try to meet all their needs with a lot of affection and support.

UNCIEF Supported ‘Close to You’ Foundation to develop specific interventions for young people living with HIV/AIDS, such as diagnosis disclosure, support groups, psychological counseling and social assistance. Since 2004, UNICEF also supported involvement of HIV positive young people in various HIV prevention activities and the development of a national volunteers’ network, which also involves young people living with HIV/AIDS.





 Email this article

unite for children