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AIDS and Children

AIDS and Children: a Real Threat to the Future of Mankind. (1988, December 1). Daily Nation, (Nairobi, Kenya).


(Download AIDS and Children overview as a PDF)

As the article clearly states, today’s children are tomorrow’s hope; AIDS in children casts doom upon the future of mankind:


Among those who might or have already become victims of the dreaded AIDS, none elicits more emotions of bitterness, frustration and hopelessness than a child...whereas an adult can at least make certain conscious choices to minimize the chances of contracting the disease, a child has no options...children contract AIDS mainly from two sources—from their mothers either in pregnancy stages or after birth, and from medical attention—contaminated blood, needles and syringes—all beyond the child’s scope of options.


According to the report, "Children fall victims to AIDS at different levels. Infection with the disease is one and by no means the least. But children are also being orphaned daily when their parents die from the disease, others become homeless while still many are abandoned without love and care by societies that are still ignorant about the disease, refusing to have anything to do with an infected person or one who has ties to a patient or victim."

The article continues, "Unlike industrialized countries, Africa has the same number of women infected with AIDS as men. Most of the women infected with AIDS or who have tested positive with HIV are of child-bearing age and therefore stand the chance of passing on the disease to their babies...Some researchers say that up to 50% of children born to infected mothers become afflicted too before or after birth."

A striking fact, "in Zambia, for example, medical authorities fear that as many as 6,000 children in their infancy may now have AIDS. This figure is fifteen times as many as the United States!"

Research still has not determined the precise factors determining maternal transmission of AIDS to their infants. These findings confound experts:

  • Some babies apparently test positive from mother’s antibodies for a few months and later test negative; others do carry the fatal disease.
  • Infected mothers may pass HIV to infants through breast milk, but this has not been conclusively proven—this issue needs further research


  • All women are being counseled to protect themselves against AIDS.
  • Women testing HIV-positive are advised to not get pregnant.
  • In some Western countries, pregnant, HIV-positive women are counseled to abort. This is not true in Kenya and most African countries.
  • Some HIV-positive mothers are counseled not to breast feed their babies. This is obviously difficult in poor regions, and conclusive proof of this danger is still undetermined.


Immunization programmes pose great threat to children—especially in poorer regions. "WHO’s global Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) is now enforcing standards and procedures for sterilization for immunization instruments worldwide."


  1. Phobias and stigmas against AIDS victims must be reconsidered in light of its most innocent sufferers—babies and children. Abandonment of children in some traditional societies and the ostracism of children in the West demands education for a more compassionate approach to the complex problem of AIDS.
  2. World opinion and organizations must undertake a multi-dimensional assault on the problem of children affected.
Dean Borgman cCYS