How do I write the plural possessive of the acronym COA in APA style (which in general doesn't allow for the use of an apostrophe)?

COA = children orphaned by AIDS

Children orphaned by AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] sounds like it ends with an 's', but it actually ends with an 'e' (for 'syndrome').

So do I write: COA experiences, COAs experiences, or COAs' experiences

Which is the correct answer?

  • 1
    The first or the last. Not the second. That said, I am finding the very acronym disgusting, denigrating, and dehumanizing. I would never refer to a human child as a COA. Especially not if said child lost its parents to AIDS. – RegDwigнt Feb 20 '20 at 11:57
  • @Reg Happily, Wikipedia doesn't list it among its 29 expansions. And neither does the Free Dictionary among its c140 (though it does have 'Child of Alcoholic'). – Edwin Ashworth Feb 20 '20 at 12:15
  • Is it an acronym, or are the letters enunciated separately? – Edwin Ashworth Feb 20 '20 at 12:27
  • 1
    I guess it's more of an initialism, than an acronym, and must be pronounced/read letter-by-letter: C O A – Joe Feb 20 '20 at 12:39
  • @RegDwigfht: It appears that, despite your reaction, the term is used in authorative documents. This is a small sample: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27655351 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4016624 journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0143034314535617 and Gender, AIDS and Food Security: Culture and Vulnerability in Rural Côte D'Ivoireb By Mariame Maiga – Greybeard Feb 20 '20 at 12:41

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