Health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS

Call for Proposals



Youth Health Development and HIV/AIDS

© UNICEF/Romania019/
UNICEF Press conference

Although Romania is among the countries with low overall HIV/AIDS prevalence, it is unfortunately the European country with the highest number of children suffering from HIV/AIDS. Of the 10,440 cases by the end of 2003, over 7,500 were children and youth, most of whom were infected with contaminated blood at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. Many are now teenagers starting their sex life, so it is of outmost importance to raise awareness on prevention of this disease. The number of adults suffering from HIV/AIDS has increased in the past decade, due mainly to unprotected sex and HIV positive women who have become pregnant and have given birth to HIV positive children.  Intravenous drug users (30,000 alone in Bucharest), commercial sex workers, and trafficked women all run a high risk of getting and transmitting the disease, although it is difficult to assess how much HIV/AIDS in spreading among these groups, due to low testing rates.

UNICEF contributed considerably to the development of Romania’s National AIDS Strategy. Projects developed as part of this strategy have been awarded over USD 28 million by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to ensure the funding and massive interventions in the area of HIV prevention. The goal set for 2007 is to revert to the 2002 levels of HIV/AIDS incidence. 

There are still many children living with HIV/AIDS who are unable to attend normal schools, because either the teachers or parents of the other children oppose their integration into the school system. Many of these children reach puberty without knowing about their condition, as parents are afraid to tell them, convinced that non-disclosure will prevent their children from suffering.





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