Uganda’s HIV/AIDS Policies Overlook Young Children, Study Says
Uganda's policies on HIV/AIDS overlook young children living with or affected by the disease, according to a study released on Wednesday by the African Capacity Building Foundation and Makerere University's Economic Policy Research Centre, New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports.
According to the study, with the exception of strategies aimed at preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission, children under age eight are often "ignored in comparison to older children and youth." The study also noted the "worrying" survival rate of infants who are born with HIV, half of whom die of AIDS-related causes before age one.
The study called for an increase in policies and programs aimed at addressing HIV/AIDS in young children. The study also called for increased access to antiretroviral drugs for children. Caring for HIV-positive children and other children affected by the virus "should be a holistic affair," the study said, adding, "The body, mind and the spirit must be looked at to ensure the growth and development of these children." According to New Vision/AllAfrica.com, about 4% of children in Uganda whose mothers have died are living with HIV (Bugembe, New Vision/AllAfrica.com, 4/9).