- A generation -- more than 15 million -- has been orphaned (lost one or both parents) to AIDS. That’s the current number, not a cumulative total.
- By 2010, the number of children orphaned by AIDS will be more than 20 million, according to United Nations estimates. Africa alone will have nearly 16 million children who have been orphaned. When you add that to the 37 million orphans from other causes (including malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, and war), that’s 1 out of every 8 African children who will have lost one or both parents. In the five countries (Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe) where the crisis is expected to be most acute, 1 in 5 children will be an orphan in 2010.
- In the United States and other developed countries, there are more than 400 adults for every orphan; in nine African countries, there soon will be fewer than 6 adults for every orphan. And some of those adults will be too ill to make a meaningful contribution to their care.
- Children are suffering the loss of parents, teachers, community members and peers as a result of the pandemic. The tragic loss of key adults who once provided stability and protection has resulted in a rapid increase of children who are malnourished, forced to drop out of school and exploited for cheap labor.