Report: Number of AIDS Orphans in Developing World to Rise
July 11, 2002
The number of children in the developing world who have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic will nearly double from 13.4 million to 25.3 million by the end of this decade, according to a report produced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF and UNAIDS and presented Wednesday at the 14th International AIDS Conference.
The study reports that one-third of all children in sub- Saharan Africa who have lost a parent have lost him or her to AIDS. In 2010, about half of all parent losses will be attributable to AIDS. The third such report since 1997 enumerates both children who have lost one parent ("orphan") and children who have lost both parents ("double orphan"). It is the first report to reflect more detailed demographic data and to determine the fraction of parental loss worldwide due to the disease. "This is one of the most shocking reports released at this conference," said Peter Piot, director of UNAIDS.
There are 108 million orphans from all causes in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. That makes up about 7.4 percent of all children in those regions. The proportion orphaned by AIDS is 12 percent. The long lag between HIV infection and death from AIDS virtually guarantees an increase in orphan numbers. "Even if by some miracle the spread of the AIDS virus stopped today, the number of orphans would still rise for a decade," said Anne Peterson, a USAID official.
07.11.02; David Brown
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.