- HIV & AIDS
- Direct aid
HIV-infected children can live completely normally, go to school and play. Only the regular doctor's appointments and examinations differentiate them from other children of the same age. However, their illness and the associated fear of rejection by society are ever-present. Often family tragedies are added to this. Many children have already lost a parent early on and are growing up in care or adoptive families as well as in youth welfare institutions.
Children who are already severely ill at birth or become ill later in life must be intensively looked after and take high dosages of medicine. As only very few of them are intended for children and there has so far been no special research into and manufacturing of children's medicine, the treatment is at times combined with significant side effects.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and general faintness can, in due course, be joined by problems with reading, writing and arithmetic, a lack of concentration, behavioral issues or psychological problems. The processing and acceptance of an illness that will accompany them for their entire lives is often hard for children.
For fear of social discrimination and exclusion, the illness is kept secret by most parents and children. On school trips and when staying overnight at friends, the children try to hide their taking of medicine. When that doesn't work, they give other chronic illnesses or the taking of vitamins as an explanation.
Contacts in social, medical and school areas are made difficult by the lack of knowledge of the possibilities of transmission. If they are open about the illness, parents often find themselves being rejected when looking for nursery or school places. This leads to a life of secrecy. Social integration is a constant battle for the children.
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