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Child rights body plans survey on HIV/AIDS

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, July 22 - The Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) is planning to conduct a comprehensive survey across slum areas to identify children �infected and affected� by HIV/AIDS.

The Commission is of the opinion that, if surveyed properly, more new cases would come to the fore, which would help in drafting an effective policy for the welfare of these children in need of care and treatment.

Sunita Changkakoti, Chairperson of ASCPCR, told this reporter that the Commission in its policy has laid special emphasis on children living with HIV/AIDS and for that a comprehensive awareness campaign would be launched, aimed at ensuring social protection for the infected.

�Slum areas and areas like railway platforms would be our focus area. We would, of course, involve the line departments besides other stakeholders in this initiative to yield lasting results,� the Chairperson said.

Changkakoti said that ensuring children their rights, be it education, health or safety, has been the top priority of the Commission and it would leave no stone unturned to pave the way for better living conditions for these children.

An official of the Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) said that it is also taking a slew of measures to provide better care and protection to the children infected with the HIV.

�The girls orphaned due to HIV infection tend to be more socially vulnerable,� he said.

In India, children below 15 years of age constitute seven per cent of the estimated 2.1 million HIV-infected individuals. Over 1,12,000 children are registered in government anti-retroviral treatment (ART) centres, out of which 34,367 are on ART.

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) defines Children Affected by AIDS (CABA) as any child (0-17 years) living with HIV, or who has a family member living with HIV, who has lost one or both parents, siblings or other family members to AIDS, or is vulnerable because of circumstances that increase their risk of HIV infection (children on the streets, orphans, children of sex workers, child labourers, child sex workers and trafficked children).

CABA includes children who are infants born to mothers living with HIV, HIV-infected children living with HIV/AIDS and HIV-affected orphans who are not HIV-infected but have lost one or both parents/guardians due to HIV.

Globally, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has orphaned millions of children. Over the past 30 years, an estimated 9.7 million children have lost one or both parents due to AIDS and 1.8 million children below 15 years are living with HIV. In spite of tremendous progress made in the last decade, around 15,000 children under 15 years were newly infected with HIV in 2015.

Only 34 per cent of CLHIV in low and middle-income countries received needed treatment in 2012. As a result, an estimated 1,10,000 children died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2015.

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Child rights body plans survey on HIV/AIDS

GUWAHATI, July 22 - The Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) is planning to conduct a comprehensive survey across slum areas to identify children �infected and affected� by HIV/AIDS.

The Commission is of the opinion that, if surveyed properly, more new cases would come to the fore, which would help in drafting an effective policy for the welfare of these children in need of care and treatment.

Sunita Changkakoti, Chairperson of ASCPCR, told this reporter that the Commission in its policy has laid special emphasis on children living with HIV/AIDS and for that a comprehensive awareness campaign would be launched, aimed at ensuring social protection for the infected.

�Slum areas and areas like railway platforms would be our focus area. We would, of course, involve the line departments besides other stakeholders in this initiative to yield lasting results,� the Chairperson said.

Changkakoti said that ensuring children their rights, be it education, health or safety, has been the top priority of the Commission and it would leave no stone unturned to pave the way for better living conditions for these children.

An official of the Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) said that it is also taking a slew of measures to provide better care and protection to the children infected with the HIV.

�The girls orphaned due to HIV infection tend to be more socially vulnerable,� he said.

In India, children below 15 years of age constitute seven per cent of the estimated 2.1 million HIV-infected individuals. Over 1,12,000 children are registered in government anti-retroviral treatment (ART) centres, out of which 34,367 are on ART.

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) defines Children Affected by AIDS (CABA) as any child (0-17 years) living with HIV, or who has a family member living with HIV, who has lost one or both parents, siblings or other family members to AIDS, or is vulnerable because of circumstances that increase their risk of HIV infection (children on the streets, orphans, children of sex workers, child labourers, child sex workers and trafficked children).

CABA includes children who are infants born to mothers living with HIV, HIV-infected children living with HIV/AIDS and HIV-affected orphans who are not HIV-infected but have lost one or both parents/guardians due to HIV.

Globally, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has orphaned millions of children. Over the past 30 years, an estimated 9.7 million children have lost one or both parents due to AIDS and 1.8 million children below 15 years are living with HIV. In spite of tremendous progress made in the last decade, around 15,000 children under 15 years were newly infected with HIV in 2015.

Only 34 per cent of CLHIV in low and middle-income countries received needed treatment in 2012. As a result, an estimated 1,10,000 children died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2015.