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Children and HIV/AIDS. Children in Developing Countries Renata Serra – March 6 th 2007. HIV/AIDS affected children. Children may be disadvantaged or subject to discrimination when they are: HIV/AIDS Orphans: children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS Children infected by HIV

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children and hiv aids

Children and HIV/AIDS

Children in Developing Countries

Renata Serra – March 6th 2007

hiv aids affected children
HIV/AIDS affected children
  • Children may be disadvantaged or subject to discrimination when they are:
    • HIV/AIDS Orphans: children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS
    • Children infected by HIV
    • Children living in HHs where one member is HIV/AIDS
    • Children living in HHs which have taken up a HIV/AIDS orphan
exposure to hiv aids
Exposure to HIV/AIDS
  • Vertical transmission: mother-child
  • Poverty: malnutrition makes the body weak and the skin thin increasing vulnerability to HIV
  • Lack of family support and protection may expose children to sexual exploitation
issues at stake
Issues at stake
  • General
    • Emotional, material, psychological and physiological losses
    • Disruption of existing living arrangements
    • Discrimination by both children and adults
  • Specific
    • Loss of mother may mean a child is double orphan
    • Local ways to deal with pain and death vary
    • Needs differ according to child’s age/development
    • Adults may be differently affected and some bear disproportionate costs
  • HIV/AIDS adds to other problems: poverty, lack of nutrition, exploitation, etc.
  • Q: Should HIV/AIDS orphans be specifically targeted?
  • Yes, their situation is most critical
    • AIDS orphans are likely to be discriminated against
    • The adults caring for them are already poor
  • No, vulnerability or poverty should be addressed instead
    • Some orphans do better than non-orphans, it all depends on where and with whom they live
    • Targeting may lead to stigmatization
complex children s needs
Complex children’s needs
  • Material, emotional, psychological, relational, etc.
  • Young children are perceived as the most vulnerable but older children have a huge burden and need to be helped
  • Given individuality of needs and conditions, standardized solutions are inappropriate – hence required solutions are costly
  • Need to look at sibling groups rather than children individually
community vs institutional care
Community vs. institutional care
  • Institutional care:
    • Insufficient: too few resources/staff for children in needs
    • Segregation and dependency may result
  • Family and community based care
    • Building on own community resources
    • Proximity to people the child knows and loves
    • Extended families may not suffice, hence whole communities step in
broadening interventions
Broadening interventions
  • Avoid specific targeting, involve whole communities
  • Devise local-specific, acceptable solutions
  • Make children participate
    • What are the best way to involve children and discuss issues with them? See “True Friends” video
  • Involve all community members: especially men in taking financial and other responsibilities
un sponsored framework for action
UN-sponsored framework for action
  • Strengthen the capacity of families to protect and care for OVCs
  • Mobilize and support community-based responses
  • Ensure access to essential services
  • Promote improved policy and legislation
  • Raise awareness at all levels and create a supportive environment
current initiatives
Current initiatives?
  • Comparatively little is devoted to OVCs nationally or internationally
  • Governments have little funds and priority are others
    • See example of government of Zambia
    • 2005: $274m (out of $2.3b total budget, of which $1370m to focus countries) for care of orphans and other people affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
    • 57% of $2b disbursed in 2005 goes to HIV/AIDS
    • Much less for care initiatives
  • Need to readdress priorities