Over the past decade, there has been increasing global attention to mitigating the impacts ofthe HIV/AIDS epidemic on children’s lives. Within this context, developing and tracking global child vulnerability indicators in relation to HIV and AIDS has been critical in terms of assessing need and monitoring progress.
Although orphanhood and adult household illness (co-residence with a chronically ill or HIV-positive adult) are frequently used as markers, or definitions, of vulnerability for children affected by HIV and AIDS, evidence supporting their effectiveness has been equivocal. Data from 60 nationally representative household surveys (36 countries) were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate methods to establish if these markers consistently identified children with worse outcomes and also to identify other factors associated with adverse outcomes for children. Outcome measures utilized were wasting among children aged 0-4 years, school attendance among children aged 10-14 years, and early sexual debut among adolescent boys and girls aged 15-17 years.