Kazakhstan is part of the youngest epidemic of HIV. The HIV incidence among the general population are 1.82 per 1000, among 15-19 age group - 0.92 per 1000. In 2018, 532 children (under 18 years of age) were registered as having HIV infection. The breakdown of adolescents is unevenly distributed with half living in South Kazakhstan; one fifth in Almaty and Almaty Region, and the rest across the other regions. The experience of working with children and adolescents among professionals differs greatly. The main focus has been medical provision with counseling provided for caregivers and concentrating on HIV treatment. The psychosocial support needs have, until now, been neglected.
For quality psychosocial support, professionals working with children with HIV need a thorough understanding on child-centred, child-rights approaches and how to implement them into their practice. Professionals working with HIV-positive children should be able to locate possible barriers and challenges and find solutions to address these and ensure all children have optimum physical and emotional care provided for them.
Psychosocial support needs to be focused on, and offered to the whole family. It is a way to nurture acceptance and positive parenting in care-givers and support the young person to develop the skills and resilience to lead a full and healthy life.
Children and young people living with HIV are not unique in their need for psychosocial support in managing a chronic health condition. This Training Manual is universal and applicable in different conditions such as hepatitis, diabetes and those children living with disabilities.