HIV is considered a chronic but manageable disease with proper medical care. It is NOT a death sentence.
Children with HIV are expected to live normal lifespans when they receive treatment.
Medications called ARVs are used to treat HIV. When three or more medications are used in combination this is called HAART (Highly Active Anritretroviral Therapy)
Medications can reduce levels of HIV in the body to undetectable. And consistently keep them there so long as the medications are continued as prescribed
HIV has never been transmitted under normal family living conditions. Family members living with an HIV+ person do NOT have to live in fear of contracting the virus. They are safe.
HIV is transmitted in three main ways: Sexual contact, sharing dirty needles for IV drug use, and mother-to-infant transmission through pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.
A child born to an HIV+ mother without receiving treatment for HIV stands a 30% chance of contracting the virus through birth or breastfeeding.
With medicines for mother and baby the chance of a child contracting HIV from its mother is 1%
Social Stigma is one of the greatest challenges individuals with HIV will face. People who don’t know the ways HIV is transmitted are in danger of discriminating against HIV-positive individuals.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2009 Survey of Americans about HIV/AIDS In 2009 levels of knowledge about HIV/AIDS had not increased since 1987. There is no similar study for Australia’s knowledge about the virus, but we’re willing to believe our general public’s level of knowledge is just as poor.
Project HOPEFUL is working in the United States and Australia to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and the needs of orphans with the virus.