AIDS Combat International (ACI)

"ACI is a non political, non sectorial, non profit making organization working round the clock for HIV positive/AIDS patients in Mumbai, INDIA. ACI got registered in the year 2002 under the Bombay Public Trust Act. Reg: No: E -20263."

CARE AND SUPPORT FOR INFECTED CHILDREN

Inspite of the large number of HIV infected children AIDS is assumed to be a disease that kills Adults. Millions of children around the world have their lives damaged by HIV. Mother to child transmission of HIV accounts for the vast majority of children who are infected with HIV. Mumps, Measles, Chicken Pox are more frequent, last longer and may respond poorly to the usual treatment in HIV positive children because of his/her weakened immune system.

ACI mainly works for care and support of HIV infected children since 2005. Earlier very few medicines were available for HIV/AIDS but now many new drugs are available which give better results. Children can now live quality life. We at our centre provide free Antiretroviral therapy to 20 infected children. These children are under the care of Dr. Mamta Manglani (Head of the Pediatric Department, ONCOLOGY division, Sion Hospital, Mumbai) Besides this we also have festival Celebrations, drawing session, health & hygiene session to form the support groups. Parents or care takers are regularly in touch with us and collect the medicines at monthly interval.

Day by day the hidden cases are coming out and therefore the number of HIV positive children are also increasing. We require more financial support to cope up with the situation.

CRADLE OF LOVE

How we care

‘CRADLE OF LOVE ‘program was commenced specially for the HIV infected children by Aids Combat International in 2004. It takes care of material and emotional needs of these children.

Large number of children across the world becomes infected with HIV every year. Without treatment, thousand die due to AIDS. In addition, millions of children who are not infected with HIV are indirectly affected by the epidemic, as a result of the death and suffering that AIDS causes in their families.

In spite of the severity of the situation, many people think of AIDS as some thing that affects adults. Some people rarely think of ‘AIDS children who have lost one or both of their parents’ .But because HIV, the virus that mainly transmitted through sex or drug use, people don’t actually think of it affecting children. It dose, though –millions of children around the world have damaged their lives by HIV. The most direct way for HIV to affect a child is when they them selves are infected. As the facts below shows the staggering numbers of children are infected.



  • At the end of 2006, there were 2.3 million children living with HIV around the world.
  • Over half a million children became newly infected with HIV in 2006. Of the 2.9 million people who died of AIDS during 2006, over one in ten was children. Every hour, forty children die of AIDS.

International law defines a child as being a person aged below 18 years, but the statistics above (taken from UNAIDS, one of the largest International AIDS organization) define as people under the age of 15.

The main reason of transmission


Mother to child transmission of HIV accounts the majority of children who are infected with HIV. If a woman already has HIV then her baby may become infected during pregnancy or delivery. HIV can also be transmitted through breast milk.

Beside the mother to child transmission, some children are exposed to HIV in medical settings; for instance, through needles that has not been sterilized or blood transfusions where infected blood is used. For older children, sexual activity and drug use present a risk. It is well known that many young people start to have sex before they reached the age of consent, in some cases children are exposed to HIV through sexual abuse and rape.


The problems for children living with HIV


Once a child is infected with HIV, they face a high chance of illness and death, unless they can provided with treatment .Antiretroviral treatment slows the progress of HIV infection and allows infected child to live much longer, healthier lives. Opportunistic infection, such as Tuberculosis and pneumonia are also a serious risk to the health of children living with HIV.

Solution to prevent transmission


The main way to stop transmission is to prevent mother to child transmission. Mother to child transmission is almost entirely avoidable by giving appropriate intervention. These measures (which include the giving antiretroviral drugs to a mother during pregnancy and to her child once it is born) can reduce the risk of mother to child transmission from 20-45% to less than 2%.All children and young people should receive effective sexual health and HIV EDUCATION so that they know how to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.


Nutrition


Children with HIV infection may occasionally suffer from gastrointestinal disturbances, resulting in nutritional deficiencies, weight loss and ‘failure to thrive’. Dietary assessments to ensure optimal nutritional intake are a routine part of child’s care.

Certain micro-organisms known as cryptosporidium may occasionally get into water supplies, causing diarrhea in some people with weakened immune systems. Boiling all drinking water will ensure that these germs are killed.

What we can do for these children

What we can do

The first step to help these children is to diagnose the child who is infected with HIV by testing of HIV. It is important that HIV positive children are diagnosed as early as possible, so that if require they can be provided with appropriate medication and care.

Once a child is diagnosed with HIV, they ideally need careful monitoring and antiretroviral drug therapy. Children who successfully treated may be able to live relatively healthy lives. Childhood illness can be avoided through vaccines, immunization and good nutrition.

Children living with HIV have many realistic and material needs, but they also have social, emotional and psychological needs. It is therefore important that emotional care is provided to all children affected by HIV, including those who have lost their parents. There are particular stages when these children require support: the time when they are first diagnosed, they start to receive treatment, have deal with discrimination, facing problems adhering to drugs, or have to deal with end of life.

What AIDS COMBAT INTERNATIONAL contributes for this program?


All HIV infected children are consulted by the pediatric doctor. Some of the vaccines and antiretroviral drugs are provided by ACI to the infected children. Support group meeting is held in every month, in these meeting subject like nutrition, health care, emotional care are shared We celebrate Diwali, Christmas and other festival with these children. Activities like drawing and poetry competition are arranged for keeping these children in to main stream. 70% of the infected children are attending their school and some of them are very good in study. We give them toys, clothes and try to fulfill some of the small wishes which are feasible.

Children need love and affection; although they are physically weak they are good in study and other activities. Let’s come together and bring some pleasing moment in their life.