Children of Sex Workers and Drug Users

Project Description

According to UNAIDS, most-at-risk populations (MARPs) for becoming infected with HIV include injection drug users, sex workers and their clients, and men who have sex with men. MARPs are considered at risk for HIV due to behaviors and practices that heighten their vulnerability to the virus. While most at-risk adults in developing and middle-income countries are parents, very little is known about their children. The Center for Global Health & Development organized a comprehensive review of the published and gray literature about MARPS and their families. The goal was to synthesize information about the vulnerabilities and sources of resilience for these families, and uncover promising, family-centered forms of support. Our next step will be to partner with Family Health International (Vietnam), HealthRight International (Ukraine), and Tasintha (Zambia) to document the services they provide to these vulnerable families.

CGHD’s research aims to shed light on the challenges faced by MARPs and their children and to document best practices across multiple cultural contexts. Documenting and sharing this information is a crucial first step toward improving policies and programs that reduce stigma and strengthen access to culturally appropriate prevention, care, and treatment services for MARPs and their children.

This project is one activity of the CGHD’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children—Comprehensive Action Research project (OVC-CARE).

Project Details

Principal Investigator Jennifer Beard
Boston University Co-Investigators Lora Sabin
  • Family Health International, Vietnam
  • Tasintha, Zambia
  • Health Rights International
Country(ies) Vietnam, Zambia, Ukraine
Dates of Research 2010 – 2011
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)