Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Caring for children affected by HIV in India


Aids Alliance

CHAHA, one of the largest programmes helping children and families affected by HIV in India, is entering its second phase after a successful first eighteen months.

Alliance India began implementing CHAHA in June 2007 to address a huge unmet need for care and support. An estimated 70,000 children are living with HIV in India. Thousands more have been orphaned by AIDS. Many struggle to access health care and education due to poverty, isolation and exclusion.

By the end of 2008, CHAHA had provided care to fifteen thousand children and associated households across four states. More than 650 children and three thousand adults have been referred to antiretroviral treatment centres. Almost three thousand children have been linked to public sector nutritional programmes.

CHAHA will now build on these achievements, having been awarded Global Fund Round 6 support for a second phase, which began in February. Over the next two years it aims to reach another 49,000 children and households.

CHAHA’s direct services include supplementary nutrition, psychosocial support and assistance for income generating activities. Families are helped to access other services such as health care, education and social welfare through the public sector.

The programme’s comprehensive approach also involves creating community awareness and demand for services, confronting HIV-related stigma, and capacity building of local organisations. The goal is to create a conducive, non-stigmatised and supportive environment for children and families affected by HIV.

As CHAHA scales up it will prioritise greater coordination with the public sector, aiming to ensure a more balanced distribution of service provision between non-governmental organisations and public agencies. Such a shift should ensure the programme’s long term sustainability.

CHAHA (which means “a wish” in Hindi) is managed by Alliance India and financed by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The programme covers forty districts in four Indian states with high HIV prevalence. Eight sub-recipients and more than fifty other organisations are involved in implementation.

Learn more by reading CHAHA’s annual report.