HIV, malaria and other poverty-related health issues have a devastating effect on poor countries, hampering their economic development, leaving millions of children without parents, and many parents grieving for lost children.
HIV and malaria: the problem
Both HIV and malaria hit hard in the same areas of the world, and are often closely related.
The global HIV epidemic is most keenly felt in the poorest countries of the world. 90% of new HIV infections happen in poor countries, and 7,500 people die each day as a result of HIV and related illnesses.
Much like HIV, malaria is also highly endemic. Every 45 seconds a child dies from this easily preventable disease. In Africa, it accounts for 1-in-5 childhood deaths.
Infection with either malaria or HIV can cause illness or death. But in countries where both infections are common, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, infection with one can make infection with the other worse, more difficult to treat, and death more likely.
Combined, HIV and malaria account for four million deaths every year.
What we do
Christian Aid's main health focus is on these global epidemics of HIV and malaria.
We are committed to ensuring that wherever we work on HIV, we help ensure our partners' responses include addressing other related health risks, in particular malaria and tuberculosis.
We have 148 partners working on HIV in 40 countries who are brilliantly placed to incorporate a response to malaria, TB and other poverty-related health issues into their community-based structures.
A community-led response
The majority of our HIV partners are in sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV-related diseases are now the leading cause of death. Two-thirds are already working on other poverty-related diseases.
Most of our partners rely on networks of dedicated health volunteers who are able to assist those in their own communities. Often these are hard-to-reach communities with poor access to even basic health facilities.
For example, in Nigeria – where 300,000 children die of malaria every year – our partners working on HIV are also distributing long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
The most vulnerable, including pregnant women, children under the age of five, people living with HIV and the elderly, receive these nets as a priority, but distribution also goes on to include all families in the areas where they work.
We also have numerous health programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East.
Our priorities in this area of our work are:
community-based HIV, malaria and TB prevention, care and support
working with leaders of all faiths to challenge HIV-related stigma and promoting HIV prevention
defending the human rights of people living with HIV
reaching out to youth in new and creative ways
support for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV and malaria
HIV work in fragile states, and in conflict and post-conflict areas.
Back in the UK and Ireland, we keep health issues high on the agenda of our supporters and donors through advocacy, campaigning, education and fundraising.
HIV and SAVE
Christian Aid supports the SAVE approach - originally developed by our African partner organisation ANERELA+ - as a way of working more effectively to prevent HIV infection.
SAVE provides a holistic way of preventing HIV. It incorporates the principles of the ABC approach (Abstinence, Be faithful and Condom use) while also providing comprehensive information about other, non-sexual routes of HIV transmission and prevention, promoting support and care of those already infected and actively challenging HIV-related stigma and discrimination, discrimination and denial. Find out more about SAVE:
Download HIV SAVE booklet
What you can do
You can help our work by donating to our HIV and health fund.