A virus called HIV causes a syndrome called Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). What does AIDS mean to children?
The Kiddle encyclopedia explains;
- Acquired means that people are not born with the disease. They are infected with the HIV virus.
- Immune or Immuno- talks about the immune system. The immune system is the part of the body that fights off disease.
- Deficiency means not enough. An immuno-deficiency is where the immune system cannot fight diseases to keep the body healthy.
- Syndrome is a collection of symptoms, or problems in the body. Because the immune system is damaged and cannot fight off disease, people with AIDS show a collection of symptoms which doctors call the “Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.”
Children affected by the HIV/AIDS aren’t getting enough life-saving treatment.
In 2013 there were about 3.2 million children living with the HIV virus. Many of them live in Africa and were born with the virus it passed from their mothers when they were pregnant, when they were born or from breast milk.
There has been a lot of promising research for a cure for AIDS, but scientists can’t yet completely remove HIV from the body.
There isn’t enough money to help doctors and scientists treat both adults and children in poorer countries. Many countries will have to work together to raise more money available to train healthcare workers and give them more of the right medicines to help everyone. Furthermore, scientists have to develop medicines specifically for children with HIV/AIDS that ordinary people can afford.
All children born with HIV have the right to attend school, just as any other child. Even more so, healthy children need to know more about the virus too. This is the main way to encourage openness about HIV rather than silence or shame.
World AIDS day is December 1st every year. It is a way to raise awareness to help fight HIV. The red ribbon has become the symbol for AIDS awareness. People wear them in support of people living with HIV and in remembrance of those who have died. The red ribbon is also a symbol for the major illnesses, like heart disease and stroke.
Here’s a poster about AIDS that you can click to download and use.
The 17 United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, or SDGs, are in fact 17 Promises made by grown ups to the children.