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Children and AIDS

How has the AIDS epidemic changed life for children around the world?

December 25, 2002

How has the AIDS epidemic changed life for children around the world?

AIDS has now been around for more than 20 years. What first became known as an unexplained illness among homosexuals has taken on global proportions. The deadly virus does not care about ethnicity, sex — or age. Our Globalist Factheet examines how HIV/AIDS affects the children and women of the world.

How many children are affected by HIV/AIDS globally?

As of 2002, in addition to the 38.6 million adults worldwide with AIDS or HIV, there are 3.2 million children under the age of 15 living with AIDS or HIV.

(Wall Street Journal)

How many children are born with HIV?

About 600,000 babies are born HIV positive each year.

(New York Times)

Where do most of them live?

As of 2003, with only 10% of the world’s population, Africa is home to 70% of adults and 80% of children infected with HIV.

(Washington Post)

Why has 2002 been a significant year for AIDS?

In 2002, women accounted for 50% of adults living with HIV or AIDS for the first time.

(Wall Street Journal)

How severe is HIV/AIDS among women in southern Africa?

As of 2000, 40% of pregnant women in the worst hit cities of southern Africa are HIV positive — and more than one child in ten has lost her mother to AIDS.

(United Nations)

Is the number of orphans in Africa expected to grow — or shrink?

Between 2002 and 2010, the number of orphans in Africa is predicted to rise from 34 million to 42 million — half of these will be orphaned by AIDS.


How is childhood AIDS affecting overall life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa?

As of 2002, seven sub-Saharan countries have life expectancies under 40 years. Botswana’s life expectancy is down to 39 years, instead of the 72 years it would be without AIDS.

(U.S. Census Bureau)

How many countries will suffer this fate?

Between 2000 and 2020, AIDS will cause a decline in life expectancy in 51 countries.

(Washington Post)

How does AIDS jeopardize education?

Back in 1999, an estimated 860,000 children lost their teachers to AIDS.

(United Nations)

What needs to be done to compensate for the loss?

As of 2003, South Africa will have to increase the number of new teachers it trains from 3,000 to 20,000 a year to replace AIDS losses.

(United Nations)