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AIDS Orphan Toll Rising

Sithole, E. (2000, July 14). AIDS Orphan Toll Rising. (Reuters article). The Daily Oklahoman

, p. 6D.



(Download AIDS Orphan Toll Rising overview as a PDF)

More than 30 million children in developing countries will lose at least one parent to AIDS by the end of the decade, according to one U.S. aid agency. "Children on the Brink," a report sponsored by USAID, states the impending epidemic among countries becoming heavily affected by AIDS.

In a survey of the 34 sub-Saharan, Asian, Latin American, and Caribbean countries, the figure more than doubles the number of AIDS orphans left worldwide in the past 15 years: The HIV/AIDS pandemic is producing orphans on a scale unrivaled in world history…large-scale orphaning has been a sporadic, short-term problem caused by war, famine, or disease. AIDS has transformed it into a long-term chronic problem that will extend at least through the first third of this century.

Sub-Saharan Africa will be most affected, as it is home to the majority of the 34.3 million people afflicted with HIV. Additionally, the Indian subcontinent is quickly becoming "a new epicenter" for this tragedy: with more than twice the population of the sub-Sahara, India could soon face a disaster if swift action is not taken.

Most of the AIDS orphans do not have HIV, so their numbers will continue to mass until at least 2020. In the Central African Republic, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, 20% of children under 15 are orphaned. This statistic is forecasted to grow to over 30% in 11 countries during the next 10 years.



  1. Reread the article again. Carefully reflect on the statistics. How do you respond to these current and forecasted statistics?
  2. What can you do? What can others do?
  3. How does this affect you, if you live in a country other than the ones noted above?

  1. Is this important information for children in countries not listed above? Why or why not?



  1. This tragedy is unfolding. People throughout these countries must be educated about AIDS and how it is contracted.
  2. Education should be culturally appropriate. Those working in these countries need to understand the society. Education efforts in one country might not be effective in the next.

  1. Orphanages need resources to care for those without families. Families need resources and support to consider adopting AIDS orphans.

Kathryn Q. Powers cCYS