Children Affected by AIDS: A Review of the Literature on Orphaned and Vulnerable Children
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This paper presents a systematic review of the literature pertaining to orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on research in countries heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS. Despite study and data limitations, the literature provides evidence of growing orphan-based disparities, difficulties within households providing care, and insufficient capacity among social services. Still, additional research is urgently needed, including better OVC surveillance methods, qualitative data than answers persisting questions, the inclusion of more useful indicators in national household surveys, and longitudinal studies to determine the mechanisms by which parental HIV status and death impacts children, caregiving impacts households, and the orphan epidemic impacts communities and social systems.