HIV and AIDS
Kalpana, 14, and her sister were left under the care of her widowed mother when their father passed away five years ago from HIV related complications. Kalpana and her family had a difficult time due to stigma related to HIV and AIDS. She came in contact with a SOVAA (social volunteer against AIDS) and learned about HIV and AIDS. She joined the SOVAA network to raise awareness against HIV and AIDS. She also came in contact with four other children affected by HIV and AIDS in her community who were struggling in school. She volunteered to tutor them in the morning and coordinated with SOVAA to provide school supplies for them. In addition to being a SOVAA fighting social stigma around HIV, she is also supporting her mother to look after the family.
Save the Children works in partnership with local communities, networks, non-governmental organizations and government authorities to make sure children and families affected by HIV and AIDS can live positively and productively without stigma and discrimination. Our program aims to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS by increasing awareness of safe practices to prevent spread of HIV and to increase access to HIV-related services, food, healthcare and education. Specifically, the HIV and AIDS program works to strengthen the three pillars of intervention: prevention; access to services; and care and support services for Children affected by AIDS.
The HIV situation in Nepal has evolved from a low prevalence into an epidemic. This is largely affecting injecting drug users, female sex workers and their clients, and men who have sex with men. As in other developing countries, transmission of HIV in Nepal is driven by factors such as poverty, low literacy levels, low level of male and female condom use, cultural and religious factors, and stigma and discrimination. The government’s three-year interim plan identifies managing the HIV epidemic as a high priority. The plan focuses on the need for prevention programs within an overall broader program that addresses the need for treatment, care, and support of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Save the Children is supporting 54 partner NGOs to increase better access of HIV-related services in 39 districts of Nepal. Further, HIV and AIDS affected children and their families are provided skills and information to enable them to improve their livelihoods. To achieve the program priorities, the concept of Social Volunteers movement has been strengthened with various specialties including: social volunteers against AIDS, peer educators, female community health volunteers and People Living with HIV and AIDS self-help groups.