Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by HIV and AIDS

Publication Year:
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

This USAID report summarizes the toll that HIV/AIDS has taken on children globally: as many as 17 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Further, in 2016, 3.4 million children under the age of 15 were HIV+. Additionally, this report includes a series of images and an outline of the USAID response to this global issue.


THE TOLL ON CHILDREN (excerpt from article)

HIV and AIDS have exacted a terrible toll on children and their families. During the 30 years of the global HIV epidemic, an estimated 17 million children lost one or both parents due to AIDS. Ninety percent of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, 3.4 million children under age 15 are living with HIV. Despite some decline in HIV adult prevalence worldwide and increased access to treatment, the number of children affected by or vulnerable to HIV remains alarmingly high.

Families and communities have led a massive response to protect, care for and support children affected by HIV and AIDS. Since 2003, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has provided more than $2 billion in funding and technical support to greatly enhance these efforts. These investments have enabled children to stay in school, strengthened households and ensured families continue their roles as primary caregivers.


USAID’S RESPONSE (excerpt from article)

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) programs for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV and AIDS contribute to the achievement of an AIDS-free generation by responding to the social, economic and emotional consequences of the disease on children, their families and the communities that support them. The goal of USAID and PEPFAR’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program is to improve the health and well-being of children and families by mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS and increasing children’s resilience and reducing their risk to the disease. Key program areas and objectives include the following:

  1. Education: Support efforts to reduce educational disparities and barriers to access among school-age children through sustainable “systemic” interventions.
  2. Psychosocial Care and Support: Prioritize psychosocial interventions that build on existing resources; place and maintain children in stable and affectionate environments.
  3. Household Economic Strengthening: Reduce the economic vulnerability of families and empower them to provide for the essential needs of the children in their care.
  4. Social Protection: Reduce vulnerability and risks, foster human capital development and interrupt the transmission of poverty from one generation to the next.
  5. Health and Nutrition: Improve children’s and families’ access to health and nutritional services.
  6. Child Protection: Develop appropriate strategies for preventing and responding to child abuse, exploitation, violence and family separation.
  7. Legal Protection: Develop strategies to ensure basic legal rights, birth registration and inheritance rights to improve access to essential services and opportunities.
  8. Capacity Building: Prioritize capacity building and systems strengthening interventions according to country context.

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