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The Children's AIDS Fund works to limit suffering of children and their families caused by HIV disease by providing care, services, resources, referrals, and education.
Since 1987 the Children's AIDS Fund (CAF), a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in the United States, has been working to limit suffering of children and their families caused by HIV disease. Founded initially as a program (the Children's Assistance Fund) of Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy, the organization's name was changed to the Children's AIDS Fund in 1997 to recognize its extensive work with HIV impacted children. CAF's program, unique in its early days, focuses on children from birth through age 24 whose parent(s) are HIV positive or have been diagnosed with AIDS, serving children who are both HIV infected and HIV affected and who will potentially be orphaned by HIV.
CAF programs and activities are consistent with the five basic tenets of its founding organization: Promoting the value of early diagnosis of HIV disease; limiting the epidemic's spread through traditional public health intervention strategies, such as voluntary and confidential partner notification, and a focus on risk avoidance prevention messaging; engendering a compassionate response to anyone infected or affected by HIV disease; facilitating the development of treatments, vaccines, diagnostics, and a cure for HIV disease; and addressing access to health care in respect to HIV disease.
Domestically, CAF programs include prevention and education resources; networking care providers serving HIV impacted children and families, providing up-to-date information and resources; emergency financial assistance to families of HIV impacted children (rent, utilities, etc.); holiday gifts to underserved HIV impacted children. CAF works with community and faith-based organizations, AIDS service organizations, social service professionals, healthcare professionals, educators and the general public.
Globally, CAF identifies in-country individuals and organizations which already doing related and effective work with whom CAF can partner to accomplish common goals. CAF provides technical assistance, human and financial resources that help build global partners' administrative and program capacity with the goal of long-term sustainability.
CAF's global work began in 1988 when one staff member spent nine months in Uganda working with HIV/AIDS abstinence prevention programs targeting youth through drama, music, dance, and educational presentations. Since that time CAF has developed project partnerships in Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Malawi working on the following programs and activities:
- Vocational and life skills training for children orphaned by HIV
- Testing and counseling
- Pilot and ongoing HIV treatment and care programs
- Community education and outreach
- Bereavement assistance
- Support service network development
- Partner administrative and financial management systems development and training
CAF also developed an online database of grassroots organizations working to help HIV impacted children around the world to promote networking and ongoing support.
In addition, CAF develops resources, education and prevention materials; sponsors conferences and seminars; equips local groups and individuals to become involved in meeting the needs of HIV-impacted children and families on a community level.
CAF receives public and private funding. The organization has managed federal contracts and grants, and is currently receiving funding for treatment programs under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. CAF is also supported with private funds, having received grants from numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. CAF is an approved Combined Federal Campaign charity, is a member of Children's Charities of America, Independent Charities of America, and is a registered private voluntary organization with USAID.
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