South Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a devastating impact on children, many of whom are orphaned, living with HIV themselves, and vulnerable to abuse, neglect and bullying.
- An estimated 6.1 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2012.
- An estimated 410,000 people under age 15 in South Africa were living with HIV, a figure that more than doubled since 2001, according to UN statistics.
- According to UNAIDS, approximately 240,000 South Africans died of AIDS in 2012.
- AIDS-related deaths among adolescents increased by 50% between 2005 and 2012.
- In 2012, there were an estimated 2.5 million AIDS orphans living in South Africa.
- Children under age 15 are half as likely as adults to receive the lifesaving ARV treatment they need.
- Only 58% of children eligible for lifesaving treatment in South Africa are accessing the appropriate medications.
- HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five.
However, despite these facts, with ongoing treatment, children living with HIV can live well into adulthood and have healthy, productive lives. There has never been a more appropriate time to scale up support and services to children living with HIV.