Jakarta (ANTARA) - The stigmatization of children with HIV/AIDS (ADHA) is still high and it is even causing some children to lose out on the opportunity to get the education they are entitled to.

Assistant deputy for child protection for special conditions at the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Elvi Hendrani delivered the remarks at a webinar on the “Technical Guidance on the Role of Society in the Protection of Children with HIV/AIDS.”

"Stigmatization often accompanies children with HIV/AIDS, or what we call ADHA. Because of this stigma, the cases are very high and have an impact on many things, such as the loss of opportunities to get an education," she said at the webinar, which was followed from Jakarta on Monday.

There have been many cases of schools expelling children after finding out their ADHA status out of fear that the children would infect other students and teachers, she noted.

"The stigma has an impact on the violence they receive, exclusion, and so on," Hendrani said.

The ministry is encouraging community groups to care for and protect children who are included in special protection groups, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS.

"If the community group is strong, it becomes a strong foundation for the protection of children who are included in special protection groups, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. Because their vulnerability will multiply if we don't act immediately to protect them," she said.

For this reason, the ministry provided technical guidance on the protection of children with HIV/AIDS. The guidance was attended by Community-Based Integrated Child Protection (PATBM) activists, Women and Children's Friends (SAPA) Volunteers, the Task Force for the Protection of Women and Children (PPA Task Force), as well as other community activists.

"This will also support child-friendly districts/cities or child-friendly villages and child-friendly sub-districts," Hendrani said.

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Translator: Anita Permata Dewi, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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