World AIDS Day: December 1

Published: Fri 28 Nov 2008 10:19 AM
MEDIA RELEASE                                                                       Friday, 28 November 2008
Helping make a positive change to the lives of children caught in the battle against AIDS
World AIDS Day: December 1
HIV and AIDS continue to devastate communities in developing countries, but it doesn’t have to be this way according to ChildFund New Zealand programmes manager Michael Vujnovich.
Mr Vujnovich recently returned from reviewing ChildFund projects in Africa which support children and families affected by HIV and AIDS.  He says, “The message for World AIDS Day 2008 is that we can make a difference in people's lives and help them live positively."
One of the ChildFund projects Mr Vujnovich visited is in Luangwa, Zambia, where it’s estimated that 22 per cent of the population is HIV positive.
"It's heartbreaking to see children as young as nine years old head households or having to care for sick and dying parents. In some families, elderly grandparents are caring for their orphaned grandchildren. The disease has wiped out a middle generation of working age adults in many parts of Africa."
ChildFund New Zealand projects are addressing the needs of children affected by HIV and AIDS by giving children access to food and school. As well as the more visible means of support, ChildFund is helping to take away the stigma of HIV making it easier to build support networks for parents living with HIV and protect children's rights.
"Children without parents are obviously very vulnerable.  One of the concerns is that they are vulnerable to losing their homes and we’re working with the community to protect children's property rights.
ChildFund also works with youth and adults on HIV prevention and peer education to help stem the tide of the disease.
To help ChildFund continue to support children and families affected by AIDS, please .
About World AIDS Day 2008
2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, and is a time of reflection for the Global AIDS Community.
In 2007, an estimated 33 million people were living with HIV and AIDS. While the rate of new infections has slowed in recent years, 2.7 million new infections were reported last year, 370,000 of which were among children. Of the two million children currently living with HIV and AIDS, only 10 percent have access to life-saving treatment.
It is estimated that by 2010, more than 25 million children will have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS. Millions more will be living in households with sick and dying family members. Understanding and responding to the impact of HIV and AIDS on children and their families is essential to child development.
ChildFund New Zealand
ChildFund New Zealand is a member of the ChildFund Alliance, an international child development organisation with 70 years of experience helping the world's neediest children, which works in 54 countries, assisting 11 million children and family members regardless of race, creed or gender.
ChildFund New Zealand works for the well-being of children by supporting locally led initiatives that strengthen families and communities, helping them overcome poverty and protect the rights of their children.
ChildFund's comprehensive programmes incorporate health, education, nutrition and livelihood interventions that sustainably protect, nurture and develop children. ChildFund works in any environment where poverty, conflict and disaster threaten the well-being of children.

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