HIV and AIDS impact on children in sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region of the world where HIV/AIDS has taken its greatest toll. That region houses an estimated 3 million people living with HIV, about two thirds of the world’s total. Since the beginning of the epidemic more than 15 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS
Every single day, more than 1000 children become infected by HIV and more than half of these children lose their lives because of difficulties to access HIV treatment. Each year, more than 1.5 million children become affected by the disease as the direct consequence of parents’ death and other grieves occurred in their families. Of all the children living with HIV/AIDS, 9 out of every 10 children live in sub-Saharan Africa and 75 percent of them are girls. It is crucial to mention that factors that increase young girls’ vulnerability are sexual abuse, exploitation, as well as less or no access to education and health services.
The number of orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS is on the rise at exceptional levels, suggesting the need of increased care and support. Those most vulnerable children not only suffer psychosocial problems, but they also bear the burden of the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS epidemic. In fact, young boys and girls living with HIV virus are stigmatized and further marginalized in the communities. That is the reason why African Aid Organization, Inc. (AFAID) programs include targeted interventions. AFAID interventions aim to prevent children from becoming affected by including projects that aim to reduce extreme poverty and hunger in its program.