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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds Broad, Ongoing Support Needed for Children Affected by HIV

Children in sub-Saharan Africa who are infected with HIV, orphaned, or otherwise affected by the virus, need “broad, society-wide interventions,” including economic and social supports, according to a team of global health researchers from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).

In an article in the journal Pediatric Clinics of North America, Dr. Malcolm Bryant, clinical associate professor of global health at BUSPH, and Dr. Jennifer Beard, assistant professor of global health at BUSPH, say that while international investments have been successful in helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensuring medical care for infected children, the social, emotional, and developmental health of children orphaned or otherwise affected by HIV remain more difficult to target.

In addition, they say, given that 47 percent of all Africans live on less than $1.25 a day, strategies directed at HIV must address the underlying challenges faced by all children living in extreme poverty.

“The differential vulnerability between children affected by HIV and those who are not is largely determined by global donor assistance,” the report says. Children infected with HIV represent “a tiny minority of those orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV. These children are . . . often pushed into extreme poverty by the presence of HIV in the household.”

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