HIV and AIDS Programs

Save the Children is working towards a world where people, especially children and youth, live without fear of contracting the HIV virus, suffering from HIV related stigma and discrimination and live with zero AIDS related death. Save the Children is committed to enabling children, youth and their families infected and affected by HIV and AIDS to live positively and productively.

Save the Children is recognized globally for improving the lives and ensuring the futures of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. SC provides context-specific expertise in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. Our HIV and AIDS programs span four continents and 22 countries.




  • Guatemala
  • Haiti


  • Georgia


Save the Children brings significant experience in implementing large-scale programs worldwide that help expand access to quality HIV and AIDS services and networks. Using youth-friendly interventions, our programs ensure that the education, information, tools and services provided helps these young people make healthy decisions and enable them to adopt protective practices. Working with influential adults such as parents, teachers, and traditional and religious leaders, Save the Children contributes to a more supportive environment that ensures that young people can get the help they need from their communities and remove barriers to accessing services. Our prevention work is also working towards preventing new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive.

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Save the Children is a key player in Nepal's HIV response, providing targeted intervention services to key affected populations – people who inject drugs (PWIDs), transgender and men who have sex with men (TG/MSM), female sex workers (FSWs), migrants and their spouses, and people living with HIV (PLHWA), in partnership with several civil society organizations in 48 districts of Nepal. Save the Children aims to scale up access and coverage of quality HIV prevention and care and support services. We are currently developing a toolkit to improve the capacity of service providers to address the needs of young people who inject drugs. Save the Children also works to strengthen capacity of key stakeholders in the country to mobilize responses that contribute to building and fortifying health and community systems for an accelerated and sustained HIV response. With strong community systems strengthening program, Save the Children aims to deliver tangible results and impact, with an additional value of increased community competence, increased community ownership of interventions, and increased community engagements leading to program effectiveness.

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In Zimbabwe, Save the Children's HIV prevention program focuses on strengthening prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) programs in rural health centers. Through a partnership between Save the Children and the Department of Health, a number of rural health centers have been accredited to provide nurse-initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment. This is enabling more rural women to access ART services. Alongside these efforts, MTCT support groups have been established to provide women with information on family planning and support for disclosure, and to emphasize the importance of ART adherence and infant follow up. These strategies have contributed to an increased uptake of HIV counseling and testing by men and women, increased the provision of accessible MTCT services in rural areas, and also led to the retention of mothers and infants in care.

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Care & Support

Save the Children programs include those that respond to the needs of people living with HIV, with an emphasis on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), their families and communities through a comprehensive multi-sectorial approach. Save the Children supports positive-living practices for people living with HIV, in order to maintain their well-being, prevent disease progression, and help reduce deaths and illnesses among HIV-positive people. In line with our focus on children, our programs ensure that HIV positive children are provided with a holistic package of care and support interventions at all levels, improving not only their health outcomes, but also social and economic status.

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Under Save the Children, the "Food by Prescription" program in Ethiopia monitors and addresses the nutritional needs of people living with HIV and TB with the aim of improving health care outcomes. Nutrition assessment, counseling and support is integrated into comprehensive HIV care and support programs with a focus on HIV positive pregnant and lactating women, orphans and vulnerable children. This integrated approach leads to better nutritional and health status of people living with HIV. Additional programs designed to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS include public – private partnerships to link people living with HIV to employment opportunities and partnering with private sector clinics to provide more equitable access to HIV related care and treatment.

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In Pakistan, Save the Children works in two provinces to improve access to comprehensive care and support and community and home based care to people living with HIV and their families. This includes harm reduction services to PWID and their spouses, home based care to PLHIV and their families and capacity building of government and non-governmental services to improve their ability to respond to their needs. Other services include HIV testing, referral to ART, provision of nutritional support and school packages, family counseling and community awareness and support. These activities have all resulted in better integrated and innovative Comprehensive home based care services as well as considerable reductions in stigma and discrimination in a conservative area of the country.

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Scaling up HIV treatment is essential if we are to end the AIDS epidemic. Providing access to ART constitutes a cornerstone of Save the Children's response to the HIV epidemic as it both saves the lives of people living with HIV and sharply restricts the spread of HIV. Save the Children's care and treatment programs are adapted to the needs and In line with our vision, we are committed to providing treatment access to children. Unfortunately, a disproportional number of children eligible for treatment (in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines) receive HIV treatment compared to treatment-eligible adults. Save the Children's program is working to ensure that children born to women living with HIV are swiftly linked to follow-up health care services. Our programs aim at increasing access to affordable Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), antiretroviral formulations for children, and also aims at reducing loss due to a lack of follow-up, ensuring children remain in care 12 months after treatment initiation. Save the Children's care and treatment program also provides treatment of opportunistic infections and treatment of TB/HIV co-infection to both adults and children.

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Save the Children's integrated care and treatment program is providing treatment and care to children and families living with HIV in Myanmar. Save the Children is working with the government and other stakeholders to support the country's commitment to reach universal access to HIV services by 2015. Through an integrated approach, we are also providing treatment to patients identified with tuberculosis co-infection, and HIV testing and treatment to pregnant women. Our program protects the rights of people living with HIV and affected populations—PWID, TG/MSM, FSW—is not only the right thing to do, but it is a necessity. This has contributed significantly to the reported decline in HIV prevalence among key populations in Myanmar.

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Save the Children employs an innovative "expert client" approach, providing training for HIV positive men and women on ART to act as health and treatment advocates. These "expert clients" work in health facilities to promote HIV counseling and testing, treatment adherence and referrals, including escort to other health care services. They also help trace ART clients who have been lost to follow up in the community. This approach has resulted in improved retention in care as well as increased uptake of related health care services, including TB.

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Providing Comprehensive Services to OVC

Save the Children develops and strengthens community capacity to care for orphans and vulnerable children, their families and persons living with HIV/AIDS. Our programs target households affected by HIV/AIDS by incorporating HIV/AIDS services with security programs. This approach helps reduce the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

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The STEER project (Systems Transformed for Empowered Action and Enabling Responses for Vulnerable Children and Families) in northern Nigeria is a 5-year USAID-funded initiative to improve the wellbeing of 500,000 OVCs and 125,000 care givers by employing a breakthrough strategy that revolves around a 3600 approach to systems strengthening. This approach takes into account regional differences, religious and cultural considerations, household vulnerabilities and gender dynamics. In order to accomplish this systems strengthening and produce lasting results for children and caregivers, Save the Children is providing innovative yet tailored approaches to capacity building for state and non-state partners (families, communities, government, civil society, and the private sector)s by working within these entities to strengthen and sustain institutional capacity and between entities to support networking and modeling of approaches for a holistic response.

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Lead by Save the Children, the Zambia Orphans and Vulnerable Children System Strengthening (ZOVSS) project is a 5-year USAID/PEPFAR funded initiative that brings together a consortium of highly qualified Zambian and international partner organizations to improve the quality of OVC services with strengthened systems and policy framework for coordination, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Working closely with the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), the project will strengthen social welfare systems, improve coordination amongst government ministries, and bridge the gap between government, civil society, the private sector, and other critical stakeholders.

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