Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - International food policy research institute
Title Children in the shadow of AIDS: Studies of vulnerable children and orphans in three provinces in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
URL http://www.ifpri.org/publication/children-shadow-aids
This paper examines the experiences of children affected by HIV/AIDS in three provinces of South Africa: Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.. By combining the findings of two different studies, the paper analyzes the conditions of children at different stages of impact. It looks at the conditions of vulnerable children living in households with HIV positive members; children at risk of becoming orphans (i.e. children living with HIV positive primary caregivers);and
children orphaned after their biological parents have passed away. Using primarily in-depth interviews and observations, the paper contributes toward filling two knowledge gaps—one on children vulnerable to becoming orphans and another on those already orphaned.
In Western and Eastern Cape, we interviewed nineteen HIV positive mothers and primary care givers to investigate strategies employed by families in response to HIV/AIDS stresses, focusing on children and examining how parents plan for the future security of their children. Our results emphasize the role of already established patterns of childcare arrangements as primary safety nets in the context of AIDS in South Africa. Children are intimately involved with providing care, support and assistance in treatment to HIV mothers and younger siblings. Our evidence demonstrates the positive impacts of disclosure of HIV status to children and the ability of children to get involved in the care giving and support of their mothers. We conclude that if we are to ensure the future well-being of children, we must first recognize the roles and responsibilities that children are already shouldering and then empower them through a variety of appropriate polices and programs before they enter orphanhood.

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