Ethiopia Leads in Adopting Out Kids Who Have Virus

Anita Powell, AP, Sepember 3, 2008

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Figures from U.S.-based Adoption Advocates International, the agency that arranges the majority of HIV-positive adoptions in Ethiopia, show a clear and steady rise, from two such adoptions in 2005, four in 2006, 13 in 2007, and 38 either completed or pending this year.

Ethiopia is at the forefront of the trend, in part because it is a well-established adoption hub. But countries including China, Ghana, Haiti and Russia also have seen increases, although the numbers remain small—fewer than five children in each country this year, according to U.S. adoption agencies that work with HIV-positive children.

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Ethiopian adoptions to the United States peaked at 1,255 in 2007, and the adoption of HIV-positive children is growing in step, according to U.S. government figures. U.S. adoptions in Ethiopia have steadily risen from 135 in 2003, to 289 in 2004 to 440 in 2005 to 731 in 2006.

So far, none of the children adopted through Adoption Advocates International in Ethiopia since 2005 has died. The oldest is now 13 years old.

Over the past decade, HIV has become a manageable, chronic disease, rather than a death sentence. {snip}

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adoptions

Erin Henderson, left, and husband Joshua, top, of Wyoming are parents to 11 children, including two born in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian children, Solomon and Belane, are part of a small but growing population of HIV-positive children from abroad who’ve been adopted by Americans.


In an effort to stop the spread of HIV, Nigerian officials are pairing up HIV-positive couples for marriage.

Around 70 couples have already been matched up in the last few weeks, BBC reports.

Dr. Lirwan Mohammed, the executive secretary of the Bauchi Action Committee on AIDS in Nigeria is confident the program will work.

“Suitors who have tested positive and are willing to wed each other, can reduce the spread of the virus and also cushion the psychological trauma of isolation,” Mohammed told the BBC.

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