Project HOPEFUL: Changing Lives of Orphans with HIV

On December 1st, 2010, people came together across the world to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS by deseminating accurate information about the prevention and prevalence of HIV/AIDS. But what about the other 364 days each year? What about the orphans who are HIV positive? They have Project HOPEFUL.

Project HOPEFUL works to “educate, encourage and enable families adopting children with HIV/AIDS.” The acronym HOPEFUL stands for “Help Orphans and Parents Eliminate Further Unnecessary Loss… of time, dignity, and life.” Started by Carolyn Twietmeyer, the organization began an advocacy project in 2007. They advocated for a decrease in the amount of time it takes to get an immigration waver for adopted children from 3-9 months to a mere 10 days.

Prior to January 2010, adopted children with HIV were required to go through a far more lengthy immigration process than those who did not have the virus. Children with HIV/AIDS were facing discrimination before they even made it to the United States. While working to change the immigration waver process, Project HOPEFUL helped almost 200 children find families. The organization caught the eye of People Magazine and is featured in their Deceber 6th issue with a multi-page spread. 

Project HOPEFUL works to encourage adoption of children with HIV by  “spreading the TRUTH in PANDEMIC proportions, because NO child should perish for lack of knowledge.” They produced a video for World AIDS DAY which can be seen below. Nine of the kids featured in the video have HIV, two have AIDS. 


Why do these orphans need our help? 

What can you do to help?

  • Adopt! More information is available on the Project HOPEFUL website
  • Advocate!
  • Donate! Reece’s Rainbow has established grants for waiting children with HIV. All the children in the photo above have HIV and are available for adoption.

Photo thanks to Reece's Rainbow/Project HOPEFUL


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle7 years ago

Reason I didn't give a resounding "yes", is that I'm 66 and wouldn't adopt any child. This sounds like a wonderful organization. I hadn't heard of it before. Kudos to them for helping the ones who need it most.

Laura Ferlitto
Laura Ferlitto7 years ago

noted thanks

Colin Hope
Colin Hope7 years ago


ilse D.
.7 years ago

thank you

Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago


John C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Thank you!

Tina Scislow
Tina Scislow7 years ago

Very nice article. We need to start from the premise that all children, every single child on the planet, is our child, is our offspring! Would you like a child of yours to end up in an orphanage and not be taken into a loving family if something happened to you? Now, if he or she were on top of that sick in some way, would you not want some loving heart to look after him or her and help said child of yours to grow up to be a wonderful human being? Of course you would!

David N.
David N7 years ago

Thanks for the article. Touching.

Kristen Spruill
Kristen H7 years ago


Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog7 years ago

These statistics are so sad - the most tragic thing is that a lot of these children could have been protected if their mothers had had access to those medications...but it's so good to see that there is hope out there for these children! Keep up the good work :D