Friday, May 30, 2003


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Social Services


Parenting and growing up can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but children and families with HIV and AIDS face special issues. Caregivers who have just found out about their child's diagnosis often have feelings of shock, a desire to deny the diagnosis, and overwhelming feelings of fear, related both to their uncertainty about the health prognosis of their child and to the implications of an HIV diagnosis that is still heavily stigmatized. Many children and families living with HIV also face other psychosocial complications, such as poverty, cultures of addiction and abuse, and depression and other mental health issues. The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative seeks to assist families and children living with HIV by providing psychosocial support, including two full-time social workers who can coordinate referrals for services such as public insurance (Medicaid, Children with Special Health Care Needs, Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Texas HIV Medication Program), support groups, food pantries, transportation assistance, and other community resources for people with HIV and AIDS. BIPAI also works to assist children and adolescents with issues of medication adherence and feelings about living with a chronic illness. Additionally, in association with AIDS Foundation Houston, BIPAI offers camp experiences to the HIV-infected children and families in our care.

Some other web sites with helpful information for children and families with HIV:

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Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative
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