A friend treated me to ice cream tonight (thanks again!) and we were catching up and talking about adoption. She asked me why, in reference to a previous post, advocating for children who still need families, HIV is so common in Eastern Europe.
I always read about things, get educated, and then when someone asks me a question like this… I can’t remember or I am not so good with words.
But, why is HIV so common in Eastern Europe, specifically the country we’re adopting from?
Well, from what I understand, most of those who are HIV+ are generally at risk individuals to begin with: prisoners, drug addicts, street children, prostitutes. It is not uncommon for drug users to share & reuse needles. I think in a culture where HIV/AIDS education is not prioritized, people may be familiar with the effects of the virus, but they may not know it is transmitted or they may just think that it won’t happen to them. They may or may not know that there are medicines out there which will help them, but they probably do not have access to them.
BBC did a great series on HIV/AIDS across the world. Here is an article about HIV+ orphans in Eastern Europe. There are a couple more in Eastern Europe too.
What can you do to help?
If you are able, you can adopt one of these beautiful children with HIV. Bring them home, give them a family and the medical treatment that they need. If you can’t adopt, there is also an opportunity to sponsor an HIV+ child in Eastern Europe. This involves sending at least two packages a year to an HIV+ child, filled with things like clothes, toys, basic needs. Interested?