AIDS in South Africa: Therapeutic interventions to strengthen resilience among orphans and vulnerable children
Donald, David R.
Theron, Linda C.
Lyon, Rachel Crook
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Worldwide, approximately 10% of the 34.2 million individuals infected by human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are under the age of 18. Additionally, 17.8 million children have experienced one or both parents dying of HIV/AIDS. In comparison to other countries, South Africa has the highest per capita of recorded HIV/AIDS cases. These deaths have altered the social landscape by compromising the security and stability of communities and families. In order to address these challenges, research-based and practitioner-recommended interventions are offered to strengthen South African children's resilience and to facilitate their emotional well-being. In particular, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV/AIDS must be supported in continuing their education and staying connected with immediate family, extended family, peers, and teachers. Acknowledging the shortage of mental health professionals, school psychologists are encouraged to prepare teachers and caregivers to share responsibility in implementing interventions to support OVC.