HAART for Children campaign on HIV and AIDS
07 July 2011
Children are the focus of one of Caritas Internationalis’ major campaigns: HAART for Children. HAART stands for Highly Active Anti- Retroviral Therapy. Caritas Internationalis presses governments and pharmaceutical companies to develop “child-friendly” forms of medicines and testing. Caritas Australia directly asked the pharmaceutical giant Roche to do its part in facilitating access to medication to fight HIV and the tuberculosis that so often accompanies it. Caritas turned children themselves into advocates for other children with email postcards to spread the message that better paediatric drugs are urgently needed.
Caritas Austria President Franz Küberl hands a children’s petition on better treatment for HIV affected people to a representative of the Austrian government.
Members of Caritas Austria’s Young Caritas group also became child advocates by presenting over 20,000 signatures they had collected to their government at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna in July. Seventeen-year-old Lena Neururer said, “First I used a smile to get people to sign, then second I used the facts and figures.”
The signatures demanded that the Austrian government continue to fund the development of paediatric drugs and testing. Laura Dueler, a young girl from Feldkirch in western Austria, says she put a lot of effort into collecting signatures “because 800 children die each day from a lack of tests and medicines for them. I can do a lot to change this.”
Related Articles Ask an expert: Is there a right way to tell a child about their HIV status? The “Tide is Turning” for AIDS Compassion and Care for Nepal’s HIV patients Ten Things You Might Not Know about Tuberculosis and Children Caritas World AIDS Day message on right to health for mothers and children Reducing 9 out of 10 HIV infections in children