Children Living with HIV-Positive Adults

Susan E. Short, Brown University
Rachel E. Goldberg, Princeton University

HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa is the highest in the world and substantially affects the lives of children. Approximately 2.3 million children 0-14 years were estimated to be living with HIV in 2009. Accordingly, health sector attention has been directed primarily toward either the successful identification or treatment of pediatric AIDS or the prevention of mother to children transmission. We argue for attention to another population of children that is HIV-affected: children living in a household with an HIV-positive adult. Using DHS data from 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we demonstrate that the population of children living in a household with an HIV-positive adult is substantial where HIV prevalence is high, and that it is largely distinct from the orphan population. Future health sector efforts to improve child health and mortality in the region, including ongoing Millennium Development Goal efforts, should incorporate interventions that address the distinct needs of this population.

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Presented in Session 125: HIV/AIDS, Children, Youth and Families