Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is the last stage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It's the sixth leading cause of deaths in adults between the ages of 25 and 44, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine website. HIV can be spread via sexual contact, blood or from mother to child via breast milk or shared blood circulation during pregnancy. Infants are at a higher risk of contracting HIV if their mother did not receive therapy for the virus during pregnancy. There is currently no cure for AIDS. The health issues of children born with HIV can be too much for many birth parents to cope with in addition to their own virus.
The Children with AIDS Project of America is a nonprofit organization that works to help connect adoptive and foster parents with children who have HIV or AIDS. More and more resources are becoming available to help educate communities in the care of children with AIDS, including workshops, conferences and online support groups and forums. According to Avert.org, a website that publishes research on HIV and AIDS, the number of mother-to-child transmissions dropped from 896 cases in 1992 to 38 cases in 2006.
The special needs of a child diagnosed with HIV from birth is something that requires a unique tolerance and ability to love, educate and raise a child living with a life-threatening infection that will in turn affect his or her lifestyle. Long term medications, along with medical visits and finances should be considered and factored into this commitment. These children above all, need to feel loved and nurtured in their homes and environments.
Some adoptable children may not be infected but are living with or born to a birth parent who is. Some birth parents may feel placing the child in a household that is healthy will spare the child the emotional distress of losing a parent and by placing him or her with an adoptive family is the best alternative. Some of these children cycle through the foster systems, during times where their infected birth parent can not care for them. AIDS is a devastating disease that affects both birth parents and their children. If possible, therapy to help cope with the emotional stresses can be extremely beneficial. More and more services are becoming available for those living with HIV/AIDS. Hopefully with more research and exposure, more funding will become available to develop better medications and strategies to cope with this terrible disease.
People who searched for "AIDS" also searched for: HIV, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
See Also: Department of Public Aids
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