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Children Infected & Affected by


Youth Advocate Program International 4545 42nd St. NW, Suite 209 Washington DC 20016, USA


What Do You Know?

"Helping kids understand about AIDS is the most important thing I do. Some kids like to pretend that it's not happening in the world. By letting them know what's really going on, I might save someone's life."
Hydeia L. Broadbent AIDS patient and activist.

What is HIV? What is AIDS?

How is the disease transmitted? In what part of the world is HIV/AIDS most prevalent?

Who is vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS?


Terms to Know

the Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a retrovirus that attacks the cells of the immune system. HIV is transmitted through an exchange of bodily fluids (eg. exposure to infected blood, during sexual activity with an infected individual, by sharing needles). It can also pass from an infected mother to her child. HIV is the virus that eventually causes AIDS. an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome diagnosis is made when symptoms that indicate the disease (primarily a decrease in the number of immune system cells in a persons bloodstream) are identified by a doctor in a HIVpositive person.



Terms to Know

the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that recognizes the human rights of the children, defined as persons up to the age of 18 years. It ensure the rights to survival, development, protection and participation of all children without discrimination.


[Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children] comprises sexual abuse by the adult and remuneration in cash or kind to the child or a third person or persons. The child is treated as a sexual object and as a commercial object. (World Conference Against CSEC)


Basic Facts

Every minute five people around the world between the ages of 10 and 24 are infected with HIV. There are 2.5 million children under the age of 15 living with the disease worldwide. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of new infections occurs among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Of the 3 million who died of AIDS in 2003, 500,000 were children. The total number of children orphaned by AIDS 13.2 million as of 2001 is expected to more than double by 2010.
Source: UNAIDS. <> (April 29, 2004). Source: UNAIDS, AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003, p.3. Source: UNICEF, Young People and HIV/AIDS: Opportunity in Crisis, p.6 [publication on-line] (February 17, 2004). Source: UNAIDS, AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003, p.3. Source: UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS. Fact Sheet. 2001.


Where are Children affected by HIV/AIDS?



Why do children have HIV/AIDS?

Most children under 15 who have HIV/AIDS are infected through their infected mothers that is, through mother child transmission.
this occurs during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding after birth.

Sexual activity (the main route of disease transmission) starts in adolescence for most people worldwide.
Young people who are uninformed about HIV/AIDS transmission risk becoming infected.

Poverty, lack of education, lack of medical resources, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children also help spread HIV/AIDS among children worldwide.


Which children are most affected?

Adolescent girls and young women are at a disproportionately high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Girls are physiologically more vulnerable to infection. Gender-based inequities mean girls and women are more likely to be poor and powerless, hence are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and HIV/AIDS infection. Violence against girls in the form of forced or coerced sex, or CSEC also increase their chances of becoming infected.

Children who live on the streets. Children who inject drugs.


How are children affected?

Children with HIV/AIDS have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to other illnesses.
Children with HIV/AIDS may be stigmatized and/ or rejected from their families and communities.
this discrimination fosters ignorance about HIV/AIDS and stigma against testing for, treating the disease. This in turn makes it difficult to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Children are orphaned when their parents die from HIV/AIDS.


What is being done to help?

NGOs and governments are working together to educate the public about HIV/AIDS and to direct individuals to clinics that offer free HIV testing. Researchers continue their efforts to find better treatments to help those with AIDS and ultimately, a cure.
however, new medicines are often too expensive for poor countries. intellectual property rights also block the production of more affordable, generic medicines.

Some governments have increased funding and adopted legislation that help children with AIDS.

Care for us and accept us we are all human beings. We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk, we have needs just live everyone else dont be afraid of us we are all the same!
Nkosi Johnson 13th International AIDS Conference

Recap and Discussion

How can HIV/AIDS be transmitted? How do children contract HIV? Who is most vulnerable? How can you prevent yourself from contracting HIV? How do you think people would react if you had HIV/AIDS? What are the stigmas attached to HIV/AIDS? What could organizations and governments do to help AIDS orphans?


What Can You Do?

Educate yourself about HIV/AIDS. Contact local, state, and national

politicians for support for HIV/AIDS.
Write letters asking for their opinion on HIV/AIDS.

Talk to your parents about HIV/AIDS.

Educate the adults in your life!

Advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness!

Begin a social awareness/human rights club.

HIV/AIDS Center for Disease Control

For More Information

UNAIDS UNICEF Youth Advocate Program International

AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families

Population Services International