“When I went to camp, it made me free. I learned more about it through workshops there and it made me realize that you can live with it. A lot of people live with it, not just me.” (Young Person after attending camp in 2015)
Freedom To Be – Residential Support Camp – CHIVA
Freedom To Be – Residential Support Camp – CHIVA
Freedom To Be – Residential Support Camp – CHIVA

CHIVA is the Children’s HIV association of the UK and Ireland.
It has been a UK registered charity since 2008.

CHIVA works to address the affects of HIV on children and their families. Ensuring every child with HIV in the UK not only has the optimum health care provision, but also the opportunity to access social and peer  support regionally and through our annual national residential support camp. We aim to tackle HIV related stigma and discrimination and to be the voice of children and young people with HIV, ensuring their experiences and opinions are central to the development of CHIVA, health and social care practice, and heard in public forums.

‘Freedom to be’ is CHIVA’s annual residential support camp which brings together a large group of children with HIV (up to 100) aged 11-16 from across the UK and Ireland annually in August for a 5 day residential camp. The camp is comprised of workshops, creative and performance arts, outward bounds and recreational activities and is intended to facilitate the development of peer friendships and support networks in order to address the high level of social isolation experienced by children growing up with HIV. It aims to enhance participants knowledge and understanding of how to live well with HIV through an engaging workshop programme.

Support camp aims to enhance participants’ confidence and self-esteem and by facilitating children’s access to a broader community of people living with HIV provide them with knowledge, support, guidance and inspiration.


  • An reduced isolation through attending ‘Freedom to be’ and accessing a peer network.
  • An enhanced knowledge and understanding of their HIV through attending workshops and organised activities which focus on enhancing HIV knowledge and understanding at ‘Freedom to be’.
  • An enhanced emotional well being, a greater acceptance of their HIV and stronger self-efficacy skills as a result of attending ‘Freedom to be’.
“A huge thank you to MAD Trust for helping us to make a difference to the lives of children who grow up with HIV. Freedom to Be provides an open supportive space for children with HIV to begin a journey of acceptance and improved understanding of HIV. We know the friendships they build at camp can make a powerful difference to how they see their life with HIV.”
Amanda Ely, Manager, CHIVA
"Every time I took them I felt like it was a reminder that I had HIV but then at camp it was just like not letting HIV define who you are and just being you in life and I was like yeah I’m gonna do that, and ever since camp I have been taking my medication."
A young person who attended Freedom to Be camp in 2015 said this about their medication