HIV as part of the life of children and youth, as life expectancy increases: implications for education

Case Studies & Research
17 p.

The education sector is crucial to any national response to the world epidemic of HIV and AIDS. The school age years, about 5 to15 years, make up the cross section of any population with the lowest prevalence of HIV infection. This is the "Window of Hope". Education is the social vaccine against HIV infection. But, with effective anti-viral treatment the number of infected children of school age rises, through increased survival. Schools must adapt to having many such children in class. Furthermore, there will be many infected and affected children, orphans and vulnerable children, who will not access formal education, or not fully, and the path to education must be made easier for them. We are able to predict a rise and then a fall of the school age numbers, but new preparations must be made for these young people to adapt to their adult lives, living with HIV. All school and educational responses must take the developmental stages of children and their emotional needs into account.

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