The symposium was organised by the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS and was titled ‘Children with HIV: Closing the Gap – Ending Vertical Transmission through Community Action’. The event brought together researchers, international NGOs, community organisations, and affected populations to examine how to better connect community organisations and medical service providers in ending pediatric HIV and AIDS.
While the global HIV community has largely focused on the medical needs of HIV-positive children, discussion at the symposium focused on how community-based engagement extends the reach of clinic-based services, addresses the needs of children affected by HIV regardless of their individual HIV status, and ultimately improves the health and well-being of entire families.
“Even if a child is born free of HIV infection, that child is not free of a life affected by HIV - which makes the care and support agenda for children more important now than ever,” said Kate Iorpenda, Alliance Senior Adviser on Children and Impact Mitigation. “We have seen a lot of progress in ending pediatric HIV, but we won’t reach our goals unless communities are involved, and unless we pay attention to the most vulnerable families.”
NEW CHAIR OF CCABA ANNOUNCED
The meeting ended with the Alliance’s Kate Iorpenda being appointed as the new Chair of the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS (CCABA) and included the launch of a new supplement in the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) focused specifically on how community action is needed to meet the ambitious targets laid out in the Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015.
Read more about the Alliance's work with children and HIV, and download a copy of our new Good Practice Guide on Family Centred Approaches to work with children and HIV.
We have seen a lot of progress, but we won’t reach our goals unless communities are involved, and unless we pay attention to the most vulnerable families