Long Island Newsday Examines How AIDS Orphans Affect Society in Uganda
September 7, 2004
The Long Island Newsday on Monday profiled Uganda's AIDS orphans, who are "dependent on charity and players in a tragedy that caregivers say is destroying the very fabric of Ugandan society: the extended family." The United Nations estimates that there are 11 million children ages 14 and younger living in sub-Saharan Africa who have lost at least one parent to AIDS-related deaths. There are approximately 13.2 million AIDS orphans worldwide, according to Newsday. "The family network has broken down because of the AIDS epidemic," Juliet Tumuheirwe, program director for the Friends of Children Association, said, adding, "Children were once absorbed by other family members when the parents died, but now these family members are dying too. So who is left to take care of the children?" Some children live on their own in the streets, working odd jobs to survive, while others are taken in by other families or head the households their parents left behind, according to Newsday. Other orphans find homes with neighbors or are placed with foster families through organizations such as the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community. Many AIDS orphans in Uganda were born HIV-positive and have "limited possibilities," Newsday reports. According to Ugandan health officials, 10% of the 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda are children, few of whom have access to antiretroviral drugs that could help extend their lives (Palmer, Long Island Newsday, 9/6).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.