HIV and AIDS
Over 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV.1
Over 2¬†million of them are children.2
In poor communities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, families struggle to access the healthcare, nutrition and emotional support they need to survive the virus. HIV has a huge impact on people‚Äôs ability to earn a living ‚Äď and adds to their financial pressures, as they have to pay for medication, better food (to ensure antiretrovirals are effective) and transport for hospital visits. Ignorance and stigma surrounding the virus can leave people extremely isolated. Children, in particular, are marginalised by being affected by HIV.
The good news is that, globally, the epidemic appears to be stabilising. The rates of new infections,¬†AIDS-related deaths and children living with HIV are all in decline. However,¬†the number of people receiving treatment in poor nations is disproportionately low, and the challenges they face are still huge.
APRECOM has a two-pronged approach to tackling HIV/AIDS in Rwanda: supporting families so they become self-reliant, and changing attitudes so churches and communities are more accepting and supportive of people living with the virus.¬†A key part of its work is a network of support groups.¬†Groups for adults provide spiritual and emotional support, and the Inshuti Nziza children’s clubs welcome hundreds of children affected by the virus. Teenagers can become part of the Inshuti Nziza Troop, which¬†combines social action projects with spiritual support and life skills advice.