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Home > About Us > Press Center > HIV and AIDS

AIDS Factsheet

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Cynthia Colin
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Jennifer Kuntz
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A Global Pandemic

  • About 33 million people globally are living with HIV or AIDS (nearly the population of Canada).
  • Last year, more than 2.5 million people were newly infected with HIV.
  • More than 28 million have already died of AIDS.
  • The pandemic is the greatest medical, social and economic challenge the world as a whole now faces.

AIDS and Children

  • Children are the top priority in World Vision’s HIV and AIDS response.
  • Those most affected by HIV/AIDS are the children:
  • A generation more than 15 million has been orphaned (lost one or both parents) to AIDS.
  • By 2010, the number of children orphaned by AIDS will be more than 20 million, according to United Nations estimates. Among those will be a staggering 10 million in sub-Saharan Africa who have lost both parents.
  • 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.

AIDS in Africa

  • Sub-Saharan Africa, home to just 12 percent of the world’s population, accounts for two out of every three people living with HIV, and three in four AIDS-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • More than two-thirds of the world’s HIV-infected population live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The number of children orphaned by AIDS in Africa already more than 11 million is growing five times faster than the total number of children on the continent.
  • Women and girls are particularly susceptible to the virus. Bound by cultural traditions that afford them a lower social standing than men, they often cannot control the sexual behavior of their husbands. Also, poverty drives many women to seek income as sex workers.

World Vision and AIDS

  • Today, World Vision has AIDS programs in more than 60 nations, many of those in sub-Saharan Africa. In size, scope and duration of its response, World Vision is a leader among humanitarian organizations battling the pandemic.
  • Some 770,000 children received values-based HIV-prevention training last year.
  • An estimated 615,000 orphaned and vulnerable children and 42,000 chronically ill adults received care and assistance.
  • Some 11,000 church leaders from 6,500 congregations were mobilized to respond to the AIDS crisis.
  • World Vision has made AIDS prevention, care and advocacy a top priority. World Vision started its AIDS work in 1990, helping orphans in Rakai, Uganda. Other early programs included serving Romanian children infected with the AIDS virus and providing support for Thai women and girls trying to escape prostitution.
  • In December 2000, World Vision launched the Hope Initiative, a global effort focused on high prevalence and high-risk countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East and Eastern Europe. World Vision’s holistic approach combines responses to HIV and AIDS with existing work in child health, microenterprise development, agriculture and education.
  • HIV and AIDS awareness is also a significant part of World Vision’s Area Development Programs, which provide long-term aid to communities in pursuit of self-sufficiency, and promote sustainable transformation by tackling the root causes of poverty.
  • World Vision advocates for funding to help address the needs of children affected by AIDS, including lobbying for 10 percent of the US government’s AIDS funding to be allocated for children’s needs.

* Numbers/statistics gathered from UNICEF’s “Africa’s Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations,” as well as UNAIDS' "Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (07)" and "AIDS Epidemic Update Dec 06."

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit

Who Is World Vision?

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

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