April 14, 2003

Kids with HIV Show Their Art

Fifteen year-old Ana (not her real name) felt her world caving in around her. Recently diagnosed with HIV, she could not talk to anyone about her illness, not friends, not family. After joining the UCSD Art Therapy Group at the UCSD Mother Child & Adolescent HIV Program, she discovered drawing allowed her to express deep-seeded fears in ways words could not. These days Ana feels more like her old self. Art therapy gave her an avenue to address her hopes, her feelings and the distinct emotional aspects of her disease. Ana is one of 20 children, aged 9-16 currently in the program.

The Art Therapy Group at UCSD Mother Child & Adolescent HIV Program helps kids like Ana every year. To celebrate the children, their dreams and their talents, the program will hold a Kids Art Therapy Art Show on April 24, 2003, 4-7 pm at 150 West Washington, Ste 100. The exhibit will feature mixed media projects by children and young adults living with or affected by HIV who participate in a weekly art therapy group.

Projects encourage the children to use various art mediums to express their thoughts and opinions. Through drawings, paintings, sculpture, masks, quilts and cartoons, the children gain insight into their feelings while teaching others how they feel about the world, their family, life's challenges, and living with HIV.

The Art Show is a project of the UCSD Mother Child & Adolescent HIV Program.  The Art therapy group has been in operation for five years. UCSD has provided comprehensive, coordinated care and clinical trials for HIV infected children and adolescents since 1988. A multi-disciplinary team addresses the complex medical, psychosocial and emotional needs of families, providing continuous care from diagnosis through late stage care. The HIV care is individualized to address the unique physical, emotional, social, cultural and educational needs of children, youth, women and families.  

The Art Show was made possible by generous support from the Agouron Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation.

For more information, please call 619-543-8080

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News Media Contact:
Jeffree Itrich

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/