Helping vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS
Around 33 million people in the world are currently living with HIV and AIDS, and each year 2.7 million more become infected – including an estimated 370,000 children.
Plan recognizes the severe impact of HIV and AIDS on children and their families, and works to prevent the further spread of HIV and to reduce the negative social impact of the epidemic. Our work with children affected by HIV and AIDS focuses on helping communities care for AIDS orphans; educating children about the risks of the disease; promoting sexual health; and advocating for more effective policies that protect children in the countries where we work.
We work at the community level – in partnership with community leaders, religious leaders, schools, health centers and more – to help bring these children the resources they need to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.
Children affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa
Much of Plan’s work with children affected by HIV and AIDS is located in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is by far the region most-affected by the epidemic: In 2010, nearly 15 million children in this region had been orphaned as a result of the disease. Plan works to ensure that these and other vulnerable children – many living on the streets or caring for younger siblings – have access to the shelter, education and health care they deserve.
Through our Breaking Barriers program in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, Plan has reached 300,000 children affected by HIV and AIDS, providing them with nutritional support and psychosocial care, and educating them on their rights and how to protect themselves from HIV. We worked to strengthen community institutions – both faith-based and secular – so that our programs can continue through local organizations that are trusted by the community.
In Kenya, Plan worked with Heifer International to improve the nutrition and household income of people living with HIV and caring for AIDS orphans through a “Pass-it-On” goat-raising project. By training community members in goat husbandry and management, many HIV-affected households are receiving goats, passed on to them by other participants of the project, who donate their first-born goat to a family in need, in effect, “passing-it-on.” It is expected that in the next phase of the project, community groups should be able to care fully for the orphans by utilizing the income from the milk produced.
Care and support for vulnerable children in India
In India, where an estimated 4.9 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, Plan has supported 2,500 people with nutritional, medical and counseling support by mobilizing resources through a coalition of partners. Ninety orphans and vulnerable children received community foster care.
Plan also worked alongside coalition partners to support five childcare centers serving nearly 250 vulnerable children and two transit centers for rescued victims of trafficking. Over 200 rescued girls and women have been reintegrated with families after being provided with counseling support and vocational training. Plan also conducted workshops on the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act to sensitize police, legal authorities, the public and victims of commercial and sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Learn more about Plan's HIV and sexual health programs.