The parents, carers and communities of children affected by HIV and AIDS need the skills, resources and attitudes to support them to prevent and respond to HIV and to realise their potential.

For example, an unborn or new-born child needs a mother/father/carer with the knowledge, funds and support to ensure they receive the right nurturing and medical care to prevent the vertical transmission of HIV, stimulation to grow their curiosity and insight, and nutrition to develop healthily (early childhood development). Similarly, children need help from family and friends in order to access and stay on HIV treatment and to build resilience against adversity, shocks, early sexual debut and sexual violence.

Most often, a child can only attend school or access any kind of economic or social support if it is made freely available by the government and if they have a parent/carer to champion their development and wellbeing. Since ,in very low resource settings, it is often local people who design and run the clinics, schools and other services necessary to prevent and respond to HIV and its impact on children, people in the child’s own community need the positive attitudes and resources necessary to make these effective for them and their families. Moreover, a child’s peers and community leaders are vital in tackling the stigma facing many children affected by AIDS.

Achieving this will require collaboration between those working on HIV, social protection, education, health and broader development to design programmes that strengthen families and communities as a whole, and to measure their success, in part, by the extent to which they prevent and respond to HIV and its impact on children.

It will be impossible for us to eradicate HIV as long as any corner of the world is cut off from the education and services that we know helps stop the spread of this disease.

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