Today we were invited to a social service organization for people living with HIV\AIDS, staffed by volunteers. We learned about their lives and problems in a sharing and discussion session and met with them individually in 2 teams of Dr., nurse and social worker. The lack of food/nutrition, transportation and lack of medicine for treatment are their biggest concerns and problems. Most of them can’t work because they are too sick. Their families take care of them and often how to get food with no money is a problem. Most have transportation problems. Lacking and limited medicine for treatment is a real problem, so many suffer from opportunistic infection quietly. One man arrived with his 7 year old daughter. His daughter has had HIV since birth. Her mother is already dead from the illness. A young woman in her twenties, frail and wracked with illness and out of breath walked a great distance to get to the clinic today.

We were invited to visit a thirty year old bedridden woman. Her mother who must now take care of her and her children has no other support outside of a once per week visit from a volunteer. There is no family support group available. Think of our plight with HIV/AIDS some twenty years ago. This is Tanzania today. They are struggling. I couldn’t help but think, how many more exist in homes that we cannot see, unable to get out or access services for help. As the day was coming to an end we arrived back at Upone Clinic to find forty patients with their children had been waiting ready to sign up to be seen for next treatment day. Dr. Morase, Alison and Rhonda focused on organizing shelves for supplies. Dr.Shriner, Dr. Ole and Jody met for further discussion and Ryan and I took pictures of patients who wanted them for keepsake.