Chris Gray and the POFO team recently published the article Potentially traumatic experiences and sexual health among orphaned and separated adolescents in five low- and middle-income countries in AIDS Care.


Orphans and separated children (OSC) are a vulnerable population whose numbers are increasing, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. As younger orphans enter adolescence, their sexual health and HIV-related risk behaviors become key considerations for their overall health. Their high prevalence of exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs) put OSC at additional risk for adverse sexual health outcomes. This study highlights the need for caregivers, program managers, and policymakers to promote condom use for sexually active OSC and identify interventions for trauma support services. Orphans living in family-based care may also be particularly vulnerable to early sexual debut and unprotected sexual activity.


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Radical decision to close down country’s 34 institutions has been fraught with difficulties.

“Kathryn Whetten, a professor at Duke University in the US, followed 1,357 children in institutions, and 1,480 in families in Ethiopia and Tanzania, to compare the effect of living in orphanages with family care.

Whetten published her conclusions in the scientific journal PLOS ONE in 2014, saying that without substantial improvements in care and support, placing children back with families will not significantly improve their welfare.”

Please click here to read this article.

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The Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research is currently hiring for an Administrative and Research Assistant to the Director position. Interested applicants should apply through the HR careers website at Duke University ( and search using requisition number 401067747 and send a cover letter and resume to