The ways in which HIV is transmitted ensure that, at least in the initial stages of its spread in a given country, some communities will be affected earlier and more intensely than others. It is important from the outset that the problems emerging and the services required be seen as national priorities and not just concerns of the localities and groups first affected. Equitable burden sharing is needed.
Likewise, within the most affected communities, the tendency is for women to be faced with a disproportionate burden for the care, nurturing and raising of affected children. Encouragement for men to share and alleviate these responsibilities should be built into programmes.
Families and communities are the first to respond to the need of children in affected families. Consequently, government and agency policies and programmes to benefit these children will need to focus primarily on how they can support families and communities to provide for their needs. The emphasis will be on supporting, and where necessary, establishing, sustainable family and community-based efforts. For this to happen an enabling environment is required in which public awareness and government policies and programmes include the full range of children’s psychological, social, material, legal and spiritual needs.
1. Willmore, Bridgit and Sunanda Ray. Report of the Women and AIDS Support Network Conference, Zimbabwe, Nov. 1989, Women and AIDS Support Network, Zimbabwe, 1990.
2. Sr. Ursula Sharpe of Kitovu Hospital in The Orphan Generation, Uganda, Small World Production, Video, 1991, and Pere Descombes, Caritas Kigali oral report to UNIFEM on the Bill Pruitt Memorial Fund, 1990.
3. The Orphan Generation. op. cit.
4. Williams, Glen. From Fear to Hope, Strategies for Hope, No. 1, ActionAID, U.K. with AMREF, Kenya, 1990.
5. Mukayogo, Christian and Glen Williams. AIDS Orphans, Strategies for Hope, No. 5, ActionAid, U.K. with AMREF, Kenya, AMREF, Tanzania, and World in Need, U.K.,1991.
6. Hampton, Janie. Living Positively with AIDS, Strategies for Hope, No. 2, ActionAid, U.K. with AMREF, Kenya, and World in Need, U.K., 1990.
7. Kaijage, Theresa J. in Women and HIV; an International Research and Resources Book edited by Marge Berer and Sunanda Ray, Pandora, U.K., 1993, pp. 271-274.
8. UNDP, Young Women: Silence, Susceptibility and the HIV Epidemic, 1992.
9. Policy Guidelines for the Care of Orphans in Malawi and Coordination of Assistance for Orphans, Task Force on Orphans, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Community Services, Government of Malawi, July 1992.
10. Information on the Ugandan Community-Based Association for Child Welfare can be obtained by writing to UCOBAC, P.O. Box 7449, Kampala, Uganda or by fax at (256-41) 259149.
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