The global response to HIV/AIDS must be significantly redirected to address the needs of millions of children and families in the countries hardest hit by the epidemic, according to a new report from an independent initiative, the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and HIV/AIDS (JLICA).
The report “Home Truths: Facing the Facts on Children, AIDS, and Poverty” summarizes two years of research and analysis of AIDS-related policies, programmes and funding and questions their effectiveness in meeting the needs of children. The report calls for a shift in global, regional and national responses to the epidemic, including strengthening support for families and communities to enable them to provide irreplaceable care and support for their children. Finally, the report makes a series of recommendations for new directions that can simultaneously address the devastating effects of HIV, widespread poverty, food insecurity and social inequalities in many countries.
Family-centered approach is most effective
“JLICA has placed the well-being of children at the centre of its concerns, but the launch of this report is an opportunity to refocus and strengthen the AIDS response,” noted Jim Yong Kim, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and Co-Chair of the JLICA Research Group on Expanding Access to Services and Protecting Human Rights.
Albina du Boisrouvray, Founding President of FXB International – one of JLICA’s key partners – welcomes the report’s conclusions and recommendations: “It is important to emphasize that this research confirms what members of affected communities themselves have long known, as have many of you who work in the field.
We know, for example, that a family-centred approach is the most effective way to ensure the well-being of children. We also know that for the best results, services must be integrated to improve and develop the many facets of child well-being simultaneously, combining health, nutrition, education and economic strengthening of the family.
FXB International has pioneered these ideas and has been putting them into practice in the field for twenty years. Some of you have also done so, but many of you have remained sceptical among decision-makers. So now is also the time to thank again and again the late Dr. Jonathan Mann. His conceptualization of the “inextricable link between health and human rights” taught us that when fundamental rights are violated, public health policies are unsustainable and have no impact. It is by putting Jonathan’s teaching into practice that over the past two decades FXB International has been able to lift millions of people out of poverty and into a dignified livelihood”.