HCOI defines OVCs as children of 0-17 years of age who have lost a parent to, natural disaster, civil conflict or faced with extreme poverty and are in acute vulnerability, lost parents to HIV/AIDS who are otherwise directly affected by the disease, or who live in areas of high HIV prevalence and may be vulnerable to the disease or its socioeconomic effects. HCOI supports family-centered activities that lessen the impact of HIV/AIDS on children and adolescents, including meeting their most basic needs of health, safety, stability, and schooling through the following core intervention activities which provide:
Access to Health and HIV Services:
Examples include promoting HIV testing for OVC and OVC households, linking HIV-positive children, adolescents, and family members to healthcare facilities for care and treatment, maintaining the negative status of OVC and adolescents, establishing partnerships and referral systems between other community and facility HIV programs, and supporting a child-focused and family-centered approach to health and nutrition.
Safety, Protection, and Psychosocial Support:
Examples include community-level child protection/gender based violence prevention and response activities, referrals to other services, addressing psychosocial health among children and their caregivers, teaching positive parenting skills including discipline, communication on adolescent risk and HIV disclosure, and creating supportive, child-friendly spaces for OVCs, particularly for adolescents at high risk (i.e. out-of-school girls).
Stability, Economic Strengthening, and Social Protection Support:
Examples include developing Household Economic Strengthening (HES) initiatives, such as savings groups or income generating activities (IGA), improving family financial management, supporting vocational training and other individual HES activities to stimulate income, and integrating HES with other child-focused interventions such as parenting.
Schooling and Education:
Examples include providing equal access to education for HIV affected children, identifying key at-risk groups, facilitating primary and secondary education opportunities for at-risk groups, implementing school-based psychosocial support and safety from violence, supporting early childhood development in coordination with Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and other pediatric HIV programs, and integrating HIV care and treatment