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Nightly ARVs for children Credits: Hough/Caritas

Nightly ARVs for children
Credits: Hough/Caritas

The following Caritas initiatives, undertaken since 2009, have aimed at increasing access to testing and treatment for children and mothers with HIV and TB:

  • Advocating with pharmaceutical companies for better testing and treatment.
  • Encouraging the international community to prioritise maternal and infant care, especially for those living with HIV.
  • Organising a conference on paediatric HIV and TB, in Rome, to promote sharing of experience and knowledge among experts, Church and UN representatives and AIDS field workers.
  • Caritas India has promoted awareness-raising on this topic among social work students and mobilized them to advocate on behalf of such vulnerable women and children.
  • Caritas Slovenia and Slovakia raised awareness among school children about AIDS issues affecting children.
  • Caritas Australia met with Roche pharmaceutical company to promote access to testing and treatment for children with HIV.

The Prescription for Life letter writing campaign has resulted in:

  • Caritas Austria handing over to officials of the national government 21,000 signatures calling for better testing and treatment and continued funding during the 2010 International AIDS conference.
  • Vietnamese school children writing over 800 letters to promote life-saving HIV treatment for children.
  • Children in Australia, Africa, and Europe writing to governments and pharmaceutical companies.

*HAART stands for “Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy”, the combination of medicines that help prolong the lives of both children and adults living with HIV. These medicines also help to prevent mother-to-child transmission.