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Turning Up the Volume on Children & Families Living with HIV and AIDS

Turning Up the Volume on Children & Families Living with HIV and AIDS
- In many countries, children and youth have already organized themselves into networks to raise local awareness of HIV and to tackle the stigma that surrounds it. Similarly, mothers, fathers and grandparents have created community-based organizations to provide emotional and practical support to parents, caregivers and children affected by AIDS. These networks also help to champion the rights of those living with HIV as decisions that affect them — related to treatment, care, laws, policies and funding — are made. Very often, these groups are at the forefront of cutting-edge solutions.
The “Sauti Skika” (“Amplify our Voice”) movement in Kenya is an instructive example. In 2014, the country faced an alarming reality: not enough was being done to reach adolescents and young people (10 – 24 years) living with HIV. Despite the scientific and biomedical tools being used to address prevention and treatment, many of the country’s youth were still becoming infected, experiencing adverse health affects and dying. We needed to understand the structural and behavioral issues standing in the way of reaching this population.