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More than 7,200 Romanian children and youth age fifteen to nineteen are living with HIV—the largest such group in any European country. The vast majority were infected with HIV between 1986 and 1991 as a direct result of government policies that exposed them to contaminated needles and “microtransfusions” of unscreened blood. Despite Romania’s progressive expansion of access to antiretroviral drugs, these children and youth face pervasive stigma and discrimination that often impedes their enjoyment of basic rights and services. …
Treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has enabled more children and youths to attend school and participate in school activities. Children and youths with HIV infection should receive the same education as those with other chronic illnesses. They may require special services, including home instruction, to provide continuity of education. Confidentiality about HIV infection status should be maintained with parental consent required for disclosure. Youths also should assent or consent as is appropriate for disclosure of their diagnosis.
The following briefing paper was developed by young people living with HIV. This briefing paper outlines a number of key issues, considerations, challenges and recommendations for policy-makers, NGOs, young people, people living with HIV and other actors in the response to HIV to help us all build a supportive and enabling environment for young people living with HIV to realize their rights.