South Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a devastating impact on children, and has left in its wake a population of orphaned or vulnerable children (OVC), many of whom are living with HIV themselves.
Below are some eye-opening statistics surrounding HIV/AIDS in South Africa and the world:
- According to UNAIDS, an estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV in South Africa in 2009, more than in any other country;
- UNAIDS reports that there are 1.9 million AIDS orphans in South Africa (2010);
- An estimated 40,000 children are infected with HIV every year;
- UNAIDS: There were an estimated 330,000 people under the age of 15 living with HIV in 2009;
- HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five.
- It is estimated that only around 20% of HIV infected children in South Africa who need to be on ARV medication are accessing these drugs.
- In a 2006 review of folders at the Khayelitsha Youth Clinics it was found that only 38% of newly diagnosed youths had returned to clinics for follow up care.
While the issue of access to HIV treatment has come to the forefront of global health policies, children infected or affected by the HIV epidemic have been overlooked in the rush to create access to treatment. Orphaned and vulnerable children require more than access to ARVs; they require early interventions to improve their clinical situation and reduce the risk factors commonly associated to emotional and behavioral problems.
This is where Ubuntu Africa makes an impact.
- Learn more about HIV/AIDS and Children
- Read about Ubuntu Africa Child Healthcare’s HIV Care Program for Children