XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Human rights and the (un)institutionalization of children and young people living with HIV/AIDS in Sao Paulo

E. Franco Cruz

Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades, São Paulo, Brazil

Background: Children and young people living with HIV orchildren of HIV patients may be institutionalized when their parents die their families cannot take care of them.This study aimed at investigating the relation between human rights and the process of (un)institutionalization of children and young people living with HIV/AIDS
Methods: This is a qualitative study conducted in twoshelters in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The methodological proceduresconsisted of:
a) 26 interviews (with children, youth, family members);
b) analysis of medical records
c) home visits. The interviews were recorded with the consent of research participants, transcribed, categorized and analyzed in the light of literature.
Results: Partial results suggest:
a) the loss of life story of the children and young during their institutionalization;
b) the stigma of AIDS as a possible factor that increases the length of stay in shelters;
c) the care/assistance provided by several institutions (health services, shelter, justice, family, school), does not necessarily meet/fulfil the social and emotional needs of children; d)lack of social assistance when they leave the shelter, often around the age of 18 years, when many young people do not have the material conditions, family and financial support and sometimes emotional conditions to stay alone.
Conclusions: So far the data indicate that, on the one hand, the institutionalization benefits children with access to food, health, school; on the other hand, it may affect the eligibility for family and community, freedom, dignity and autonomy.

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