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Removing Stigma in Care for HIV-Positive Abandoned Children in Haiti
Rural HIV Research and Training Conference
  • Marie F. Denis-Luque, Caring for Haitian Orphans with AIDS
  • Yelena Tarasenko, Dr., Georgia Southern University
  • Nancy Romero-Daza, Dr., University of South Florida
  • John "Juan" S. Luque, Dr., Georgia Southern University
Abstract
CHOAIDS, a nonprofit organization with a mission to enhance the quality of life for all HIV-positive children, is the only institution dedicated to this vulnerable population in Haiti. Since its inception in 2003, it has cared for 37, but is currently caring for 19 children. This presentation is to describe the CHOAIDS approach to caring for HIV-positive children, share stories of the children served and lessons learned.
Proposal Summary
According to UNAIDS, every day, two children are born infected with HIV in Haiti. After the death of the parent from AIDS complications, the majority of HIV-positive children are abandoned or left to be cared for by aging grandparents. These children are stigmatized and ostracized in their communities, and often flee their homes to join the ranks of homeless street children, many of whom engage in transactional sex, gang violence and other destructive behaviors known to exacerbate the HIV epidemic. Inadequate medical care and malnutrition are a few daunting challenges in this vulnerable population. Caring for Haitian Orphans with AIDS, Inc. (CHOAIDS) is a nonprofit organization that has been meeting the basic needs of HIV-positive orphan children in Haiti since 2003. CHOAIDS seeks to minimize HIV stigma and discrimination in care delivery, create employment for HIV-positive women, and develop an alternative to traditional orphanages while preparing the children for independent living as adults. Specifically, the CHOAIDS approach provides comprehensive care to a small group of children with the assistance of HIV-positive women as “mothers,” fosters a sense of family and strives to give the children the opportunity to attend school, socialize, and experience a sense of “belonging.” Objectives: The purpose of this presentation is to describe the CHOAIDS approach to caring for HIV-positive children, share stories of the children served and lessons learned. Conclusion: AIDS has claimed the lives of many children worldwide prematurely. With increased access to antiretroviral therapy, the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, especially children, are changing. CHOAIDS offers a comprehensive approach to caring for this vulnerable population in Haiti.
Relevance And Significance
This presentation relates to two sections: Family and Community; and Advocacy.
Session Format
Panel Session
Keywords
  • HIV-positive children,
  • Haiti,
  • Orphans,
  • Stigma,
  • CHOAIDS
Disciplines
Location
Room 111
Presentation Year
2014
Publication Type and Release Option
Presentation (Open Access)
Citation Information
Marie F. Denis-Luque, Yelena Tarasenko, Nancy Romero-Daza and John "Juan" S. Luque. "Removing Stigma in Care for HIV-Positive Abandoned Children in Haiti" (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/yelena_tarasenko/48/