HIV and AIDS
Every child has the right to a life of opportunity
Approximately 33.3 million people worldwide are living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. A further 16 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. 68% of all people living with HIV reside in sub-Saharan Africa.
Children are made orphans by HIV and AIDS. They face stigma, discrimination, social exclusion and are forced to grow up prematurely. Children more than ever, feel the harmful effects of the pandemic. But, we can make a difference in their lives. Save the Children envisions a world where children and families can live free of HIV infection and in which families that are affected by HIV and/or AIDS can live positively, productively, and free of stigma and discrimination.
To address the complex needs of children and families affected by HIV and AIDS, Save the Children works with families, community groups, local governments and non-governmental organizations to strengthen local capacity to protect vulnerable children, prevent the spread of HIV, and care for people living with HIV and AIDS in their communities.
To ensure a comprehensive and sustainable response to this pandemic, our HIV and AIDS interventions are integrated throughout Save the Children’s other programs including, child protection, education, health, food security, and economic opportunities.
What Save the Children is doing
- We encourage and promote HIV and AIDS voluntary counseling and testing
- We provide comprehensive care and support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), including psychosocial support, legal protection education support, and nutrition
- We build community capacity to provide children affected by HIV and AIDS with adequate care through a community-centered approach
- We involve men through men-only initiatives, which helps avoid gender-related barriers and ensures a greater impact
- We improve access to health care and education services to meet the preventive health needs of children and youth including
- We provide age-appropriate prevention education and access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and drugs against opportunistic infection
- We establish peer support networks
- We mobilize peers and influential adults (parents, teachers, and religious leaders) to help increase awareness, promote healthy behaviors, and reduce children and youth’s vulnerability to infection
- We provide practical and emotional support to children, youth and their families.
- We set up youth clubs and train peer educators to provide young people with information about how to protect their sexual health and other reproductive services, in a youth-friendly environment
- We help prevent transmission of infection from mother-to-child
- We help prevent transmission of infection from mother-to-child through appropriate follow-up care and safer infant breastfeeding
- We strongly advocate for governments to invest adequate resources in support of programs that help orphans and vulnerable children