A Question of Life Or Death: Treatment Access for Children Living with HIV in Kenya

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Human Rights Watch, 2008 - AIDS (Disease) in children - 100 pages
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The provision of antiretroviral drugs for AIDS treatment in Kenya has focused on adults, neglecting children. If left untreated, AIDS kills about half of all children born with HIV before their second birthday. While antiretroviral treatment (ART) is now available free of charge, some 40,000 children in Kenya who urgently need treatment are not receiving it. For them, accessing these drugs is a question of life or death. ART for children is rarely available in local health facilities, even when it is available for adults. Health workers often lack training to treat children. Children are not routinely offered HIV testing during visits to health facilities. Economic barriers also keep children from accessing care. Many families cannot afford transport to health centers or obtain enough food to avoid serious side effects from the drugs. Antiretroviral drugs are free, but some other health services for children over the age of five are not. Displaced children living in transit camps following postelection violence face extra difficulties.

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Map of Kenya
Barriers to Treatment for Children Living with HIV
Treatment Access during the 2008 PostElection Violence

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