Visakhapatnam is the largest city of the Andra Pradesh state, located in southeastern India. Around 2 million people live in this city, which is rapidly growing due to industries in the area.
However, many people still suffer from poverty in the state, they are malnourished and living in slums.
Children are most vulnerable to these living conditions, and to the consequences of HIV. Indeed, Andra Pradesh has one of the highest number of HIV cases in India.
Since 1995, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Visakhapatnam.
HIV/AIDS is still a major concern in India. An approximate 2. 5 million people live with HIV in the country, and more specifically 70,000 children.
The Andra Pradesh, where Visakhapatnam is located, is the one of the states with the highest number of people living with HIV in the whole of India - 314,000 people to be precise.
People with HIV/AIDS are often stigmatized and discriminated against. Especially children who lose parental care due to AIDS, can be confronted with stigmatization.
Visakhapatnam is a rapidly growing city in India, but the infrastructure has been unable to keep up with this development.
Often people who move to the city in search of a better life and job opportunities, end up in one of the approximate 700 slums on the border of the city, amongst 600,000 other vulnerable people. In these slums, there is a lack of adequate sanitation and safe drinking water.
Children are most vulnerable to the poverty in these slums, lacking access to healthcare, education, and food. In fact, 29% of children in Andra Pradesh are underweight.