The Regional Strategic Framework for the Protection, Care and Support of Children Affected by HIV/AIDS provides guidance to the eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on a consistent approach across South Asia to the protection, care and support of children affected by HIV/AIDS. The regional framework promotes a universal approach to ensure children affected by HIV/AIDS have access to the same public and social support systems which are available to other children, rather than being separated or singled out. However, within this universal approach the regional framework calls for additional and specific measures in relation to overcoming the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS and to intervene on behalf of children who are discriminated against as a result of this stigma. The regional framework recommends that the response be age- and gender-sensitive, take into account the specific situation and location in which affected children live, and that prioritise legal, policy and practical action to reduce the stigma and discrimination around HIV/AIDS. It recognises that many of the threats to the rights of children affected by HIV/AIDS relate to the health and survival of their parents, and in this light encourages action to ensure expanded access to HIV testing and counselling, and to appropriate treatment and care for those infected. The regional framework takes into account that many of the children affected by HIV/AIDS are also at risk of HIV infection and some may be HIV-positive, and promotes strong intervention-level linkages to essential HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services for children and their families, including prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC
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