Why HIV Children ?
India’s National AIDS Control Organization estimated that approximately 2.7 million Indian people are HIV positive. Tamil Nadu is identified as one of the six high prevalence states in India. Perambalur is one of the very few districts in India, showing 1% or more HIV prevalence among ANC clinic attendees in 3 out of last 6 rounds of HSS (HSS 2005 to HSS 2012-13). Approximately 297 children in Perambalur, are either orphaned or infected with HIV (224 single/ double orphans and 73 infected). The reasons for Perambalur’s elevated prevalence rate are numerous and interrelated mainly with illiteracy. The literacy rate in Perambalur is 74.68% as compared to 90.33% in Chennai.
When the parent die due to AIDS, children along with the siblings (if any) are often rejected by the extended family members and are abandoned on the streets.
The loss of a parent often means that young children are left without parental affection and attention. They lose the comfort of growing in a safe environment. Economic pressure and the responsibilities of caring for AIDS-affected parents and/or siblings forces most children to discontinue education, sometimes even while their parents are alive.
Apart from being school-dropouts, they are also exposed to numerous other risks, including and not limited to lack of medical treatment, and entry into prostitution and criminal networks.
These children, mostly HIV infected, need continuous medical attention for assessing their health situation. However, due to lack of parental and foster care, their health is neglected, which leads to deteriorating health condition.