“Life Doesn’t Wait”: Romania’s Failure to Protect and Support Children and Youth Living with HIV

Human Rights Watch

This report by Human Rights Watch is based on field research conducted in Bacău, Bucharest, Constanţa, Giurgiu, and Ilfov counties in February 2006, and follow-up telephone and email contacts through June 2006. Two Human Rights Watch researchers conducted individual interviews with thirty-five children and youth age sixteen to twenty living with HIV, as well as a group interview with nineteen children and youth living with HIV (representing nineteen of the twenty-four affiliates of the National Union of Organizations of Persons affected by HIV/AIDS (UNOPA), a Romanian nongovernmental organization). The children and youth interviewed represent a broad cross-section of Romania’s rural and urban children and youth living with HIV, and included those living with birth families, in extended family placements, foster care placements, NGO-run group homes, hospitals, and in the Vidra placement center, one of the few remaining orphanages for children living with HIV.