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Chicago HIV/AIDS Organization Works with Government of Guyana to Implement New Programs to Help Children Affected by Epidemic
Date:2/3/2009

Guyana Has Second Highest HIV/AIDS-Infection Rate in the Caribbean

CHICAGO, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chicago's leading HIV/AIDS child welfare agency, The Children's Place Association, is working with the government of Guyana to implement programs and services to help children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in this high-need region of the world.

"Evidence has shown that supporting families, not just individuals, will provide a more secure future for children affected by HIV/AIDS," said Cathy Krieger, president and CEO of The Children's Place Association. "We want to help the country of Guyana implement this model of care that has been working successfully for more than 20 years for The Children's Place Association."

Guyana has one of the highest HIV-infection rates in the Caribbean. While Guyana is the third-smallest country on the continent of South America, recent estimates find approximately 1,000 Guyanese children are infected by HIV, and 4,800 children have been orphaned due to the disease.

The Children's Place Association held the roundtable in Georgetown, Guyana in order to discuss the family-focused model of care that can enable adults to live longer, thereby lessening the number of children orphaned by the epidemic. The roundtable was held in conjunction with the Government of Guyana, Ministry of Health, National AIDS Programme Secretariat and Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

The Children's Place Association has helped more than 1,500 HIV/AIDS-affected families in Chicago by implementing the family-focused approach through early childhood education, mental-health counseling and affordable housing among others. The agency recently began outreach in Haiti, the country with the highest HIV-infection rate in the Caribbean. In its first year the program is serving 235 children.

"We are currently working with four Haitian community organizations to train local staff and help HIV-affected Haitian families find appropriate care," said Krieger. "It is this same model of care that we hope to see implemented in Guyana to help their vulnerable children and families live their lives in fullness and dignity."

The mission of The Children's Place Association is to improve the present and secure the future for children, youth and families confronted by HIV/AIDS or other life-changing health conditions. For more information on programs and services, visit www.childrens-place.org or call 312-733-9954.


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SOURCE The Children's Place Association
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