Thursday, November 1, 2007

Clint's HIV Quest

Clint's HIV Quest

Clint Walters from Oxford tested HIV positive at the age of 17, founder of young people's charity 'Health Initiatives' has been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to visit the Netherland, South Africa and the USA.

(PRWEB) August 5, 2005

Clint Walters was 17 years old when, after his second relationship, he was diagnosed HIV positive. Feeling sick he went to the hospital, for what he was told, were just some “routine tests.” His mother was right next to him when the doctor informed him he was positive. As he had received no education about HIV/AIDS or sexual health issues, he had no preparation whatsoever. This young man left the clinic believing he had just been delivered a death sentence. At that point in time Clint did not have anyone or anywhere to turn to. He found a support group in London and travelled alone for the two-hour round trip every week. Even though he was the only young person to attend the group Clint kept going. It was all he had.

Health Initiatives (HI) was founded in April 1999 as ClintÂ’s answer to the lack in services for the HIV positive youth in this country. After travelling around the UK and working closely with a number of youth-run HIV organisations in San Francisco, he returned to London to establish a youth project. Testing HIV positive at the age of 17 is an earth shattering and unimaginable turning point in any young personÂ’s life.

The young people HI helps are often isolated sometimes without the support of their parents or family members. HI services are built upon a number of assisting agencies and approaches to sexual health. Young peopleÂ’s involvement is the key to the success of HIÂ’s programmes.

Clint has now been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship for 2005 to visit the Netherlands, South Africa and the USA. Each year the Trust awards Travelling Fellowship grants to enable Churchill Fellows to carry out projects overseas. Each Fellow is provided with insurance cover, a return ticket from the United Kingdom, and sufficient funds for daily living expenses/travel within the countries they visit.

Virigin Unite are supporting Clint and he plans to make a documentary of the trip for World AIDS Day - 1st of December. Once Clint returns back to the UK he plans to open the first young people's HIV testing weekend clinic.

# # #