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Children of the street and Aids in Haiti Volume 5, issue 2, Mars-Avril 1995

Authors
Aide à l’enfance-Canada/Programme Haïti, 8, impasse Baron, Port-au-Prince, Haïti.
  • Page(s) : 125-30
  • Published in: 1995

This study is a qualitative inquiry KAP about sexuality, and adoption and preservation of safe sexual behaviours, among the children of the street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Three groups of participating children of the street were observed in Port-au-Prince for three months, during June through August 1991. The information was collected with the use of pre-tested charts for each theme chosen. Then, individual interviews were conducted with leaders identified among the educators and children of the street. One of the main goals of Aids educational programs of street children should be to make them believe in the existence of the disease, and the real risk it poses for death. The strategies that we will use to convince them should deal with the different social, psychological, economical, and environmental factors that characterised the children as follows: 1) their adherence to a peer group and the relationship of power between the older and younger children; 2) the fundamental importance of money in their life, and that all relationships that they have are based on the capacity of people to give them something, such as money; 3) the role of their social appearance and their need to behave like other children for even one day; 4) their low self-esteem; 5) their feeling of powerlessness and resignation related to their living conditions; 6) the influence of the street culture; and 7) their understanding of sexuality as an immediate pleasure. An educational program on Aids for the street children in Haiti cannot be directed only towards the acquiring of knowledge on the disease and its means of transmission and protection. This problem must be viewed in a larger context which deals with the living conditions of these children, mainly their day to day struggle for life and their fight against external danger. Our actions should also be aimed at the economical and social support available to the children.