HIV/AIDS

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Scant data exists on the prevalence of violence against children worldwide. However, available information shows that violence against children is a global problem. This desktop study aims to glean from published and grey literature the extent of sexual violence and exploitation against children in Lesotho. The goal of this study is to better understand the government of Lesotho's national response efforts to reduce violence against children.

HIV and mental illness are significant global public health concerns in Zimbabwe. A coordinated and comprehensive response, particularly between HIV treatment, care, and support services and mental health care can improve health outcomes among people living with HIV. In collaboration with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Care and Support and Treatment Technical Working Groups, AIDSTAR-One is implementing a pilot activity that will integrate mental health and harmful substance use screening, counseling, and referral into HIV treatment and care sites in Zimbabwe.

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Research shows that early childhood development (ECD) is critical to both mental and physical health later in life. However, programming targeting orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) is almost exclusively focused on school-aged OVC, and only rarely are very young children included in program activities. This technical brief, aimed at program planners and implementers, highlights the benefits of ECD interventions and outlines essential elements of ECD programming targeted towards OVC.

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There are no reliable estimates of the number of children living with disabilities. Estimates vary greatly, depending on the definition of disability, the methodology, and the measurement tool used (World Bank 2011; WHO 2012b). The most commonly used estimates are that approximately 93 million children aged 14 or younger live with a moderate or severe disability of some kind (UNICEF 2013c); and that globally, up to 150 million children (aged 0-18) experience some form of disability: learning, speech, physical, cognitive, sensory, or emotional (Global Partnership for Children 2012).

Among children under five years of age in the developing world, nearly one-quarter are underweight (127 million) and one-third are stunted (195 million). Over 90 percent of those who are stunted live in Africa and Asia (U.N. Children’s Fund [UNICEF] 2009, 2011a). These forms of undernutrition can have long-lasting and damaging effects on children, especially when it occurs during critical developmental years.

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Gender inequality is cited as a major contributor to Swaziland's high HIV prevalence rate. There is no routine screening for gender-based violence by health providers in Swaziland to provide statistical data relating to the incidence or prevalence of GBV. However, a national population-based household study on violence against children (mostly girls) and young women revealed an epidemic of sexual assault against girls.

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Gender inequality is a major contributor to men who have sex with men's (MSM) vulnerability to HIV. Understanding the gender dynamics of MSM, as well as their specific sexual identity issues and concerns, is important for delivering effective HIV services. This case study describes how an NGO in Russia created an MSM-supportive environment and provided free access to HIV services through its "Follow the Voice of Life" program.

Both the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Health Initiative (GHI) emphasize preventing, monitoring, and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) as critical to strengthening overall health outcomes. Yet, significant barriers impede the provision of meaningful, effective services for children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence.

The purpose of this situation analysis, conducted for AIDSTAR-One, was to understand what supports and hinders effective care for children who have experience sexual violence and exploitation in Lesotho. The study examined the services being implemented, facilitated, or provided by community- and facility-based partners for children who have experienced sexual violence and exploitation; what is working well; and where there are gaps.

Girls Empowerment Through Education and Health (ASPIRE) is a 4-year, $16.2 million, USAID activity implemented by Save the Children and three partners, designed to support the Government of Malawi to improve girls’ achievement in upper primary and secondary school, and ultimately, girls’ empowerment. ASPIRE has three outputs:

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