• World AIDS Day 2015 Message

    01 December 2015

    Know Violence in Childhood stands shoulder to shoulder with all those marking World AIDS Day - pointing out the importance of integrated knowledge, complex approaches and aiming for a virus and violence-free future for children.

    "Getting to Zero" - the theme for World AIDS Day 2015, which falls today, December 1, articulates bold dreams for HIV eradication: no less than for eradication of violence in children's lives. World AIDS Day is a marker of both the global epidemic and its significant impacts, as well as an opportunity to pause, take stock and plan for the next year. For Know Violence in Childhood, today is a day to remind the global community of the intersection between violence and HIV generally and the enhanced intersection for children specifically.

    HIV and violence are closely intertwined issues. HIV infection often occurs within an environment where violence is present. Abuse and violence enhances risk for HIV risk behaviours among adolescents and impedes a number of protective pathways. For example, violence is linked to barriers to educational access and poorer mental health for young children, thereby setting up the cycle of risk behaviour and HIV infection. HIV infection brings many strains into a family, with ramifications for children such as diverting family attention and resources away from child development. In addition, HIV in the household may place young children at risks that are often linked to violence vulnerability. These risks include parental illness, parental death, family reconfiguration, family separation, economic challenges and emotional hurdles and are worsened in the presence of violence, either in the home, school or community. A gender-sensitive lens is required to address the gendered nature of vulnerability and exposure to both violence and HIV and to ensure that prevention efforts are effective for both girls and boys.

    Professor Lorraine Sherr is Senior Adviser - Research, Know Violence in Childhood and Head of the Health Psychology Unit and Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology at University College London, London, UK

  • KVIC Partners - Public Health Foundation of India
  • KVIC Partners -University of Delaware
  • KVIC Partners - FXB
Supported by
  • Unicef
  • Benard Van Leer Foundation
  • Ikea Foundation
  • American Jewish world Service
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Oak Foundation
  • End Violence
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