New Delhi May 18, 2006: A four day national consultation of children affected by HIV/AIDS will begin on 24th May at the Heritage Village, in Manesar on the outskirts of Delhi. The first of its kind in the country, the consultation is aimed at giving children affected by the epidemic an opportunity to be heard at the national level. The common voice that all children will share is the impact that HIV has had in their lives, for consideration by the National AIDS Control Policy (NACP III.) The consultation is organized by the Positive Women Network in partnership with UNICEF.
These children share the burden of the epidemic at a very early stage in their lives. Although there are various interventions undWith 5.2 million people living with HIV, India has the second largest number of people living with the infection, of which 2 million are women and 220,000 are children below 15 years of age.erway being carried out by Government and non-government organizations there are very few which focus on children.
The situation is more complex for children living with HIV who experience stress physically in addition to psychological factors. At the policy level the Government has initiated processes to incorporate appropriate measures to ensure support for affected children. Despite this there are many areas which need to be learnt from the children’s perspectives in order to arrive at realistic solutions.
The consultation is expected to bring together 60 children from 11 states across the country namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Nagaland, Andhrapradesh, Orissa, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamilnadu, Manipur and Delhi.
In addition to providing a platform for the children to share their experiences it will bring them face to face with some key officials from the National AIDS Control Organization with whom they will share their concerns. This will help not only the children to look forward to redressal but also the responsible stakeholders to value and respect the ideas put forth by the children.
The Positive Women Network is an affiliated organization of Indian Network of People Living with HIV and works exclusively for women and children affected by HIV in India.