“The battle to end HIV and AIDS in children is still on-going"

June 14, 2017

The Coalition for Children affected by AIDS is a unique group of donors, UN agencies, NGOs and experts who work together to enable children infected with, at risk for, or affected by HIV to survive and thrive. We spoke to Corinna Csaky who is manager of the Coalition since September 2016. Corinna has worked to improve the lives of children around the world for over 20 years. “The battle to end HIV and AIDS in children is still on-going and the effect on them is far from over. “

I'm able to do something about that

Corinna:"Incredible advances are made in the AIDS response, but the progress made is not reaching children to the same extend it is reaching adults. As manager of the Coalition I am able to do something about that." Corinna has worked to improve the lives of children around the world for over 20 years. Her focus was mainly on child protection, and in this context she noticed the great vulnerability for children infected with and affected by HIV in particular. 

Mission to improve lives of the next generation

"The greatest thing about the Coalition are its 25 members", Corinna continues. "The members represent a group of people with years of experience, technical expertise, a great range of networks and above all, and above all very personally committed. They have a can do approach". The Coalition was formed in 2004 because of a shared frustration about the lack of investment in children in the HIV response, and a mission to improve the lives of this next generation.

Ambassadors for change

When we ask Corinna what she is most proud of since her start at the Coalition, she goes back to her first month, when almost all members came together and they were able to draft a completely new strategy for 2017-2019 with four strategic priorities (see box 1). "The strategy is dynamic, including a range of means to really make change", Corinna says.

One of the priorities is to invest in strengthening the voices of children affected by AIDS and their parents or caregivers. A way the Coalition is planning to do this is by creating a fellowship scheme to support networks of children and their parents to meaningfully participate in global decision making processes. Corinna:"The scheme is still in the early stage of development, but it is a very exciting next step for the Coalition. It will help children and their parents or caregivers to become ambassadors for change and to raise awareness about the five key messages (see box 2), that are pivotal for programmes in the HIV sector and the development sector at large."

The Coalition is able to transform agenda's. Example is the Coalition's first report Where the Heart is. Meeting the psychosocial needs of young children in the context of HIV/AIDS which really helped transforming thinking in the development sector. More recently it's the statement made by Coalition to urge UN country delegations to ensure that five critical gaps regarding children and their families are covered in the 2016 High-Level Meeting's Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declarations on HIV and AIDS. More about the Coalition and its work at www.ccaba.org.