The movement of OVCs and improper handover between guardians when a person who knows the child’s status dies has also resulted in most children defaulting on ARVs.
Eighteen -year old George Moyo (not real name) who has been living on the streets since he was four,told reporters in Harare that most homeless children living with HIV are turned away from clinics as their concerns and not taken seriously.
“If you go to the clinic in your dirty clothes you are treated as rubbish and useless and turned away.Most children living on the streets come back to die and miss out on ARVs,” explained George.
Other street children who lack knowledge end up infecting their counterparts.
Local NGO Streets Ahead confirmed receiving street children who are infected by STIs including HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. It said it registers at least 20 new children every month.
The organisation said more needs to be done by the relevant authorities to arrest the situation .
Girls are the most affected as they are raped and in some cases engage in sex for food with older rich men. However, children are now able to access ARVs through child-friendly clinics thanks to NGOS through the National Aids Council.
An estimated 12 000 street children are believed to be staying in the street of Zimbabwe, 5 000 of whom live in Harare.