Brown study seeks information on African children who live with HIV-positive adults

A recent Brown University study shows that researchers have little knowledge about children who live with adults who have HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa, even though these children are one of the most vulnerable populations in the area.

An estimated 10 percent of children who live in nations in southern Africa also live with adults and households affected by HIV. In some regions, this increases to 36 percent. Children have continued to be one of the least-understood and understudied, yet vulnerable populations in the area.

"We were surprised to find that while children living in households with HIV-infected adults are widely recognized as HIV-affected, most publications that monitor the situation of children in the context of AIDS report only on the prevalence and incidence of pediatric HIV, the percentage of HIV-infected pregnant women receiving treatment, and the prevalence of children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS or other causes," Susan Short, a Brown professor of sociology and the lead author on the paper, said. "Of course, these are all very important indicators. But there is so much more to know about children's experiences."

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