A joint study by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) found out that at the end of 2001, 13.4million children under the age of 15 had lost one or both parents to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The increase in AIDS, which orphans many children, is one of the major challenges in many countries. According to HIV/AIDS Perspective (2004), one of the worst consequences of AIDS is the large number of children orphaned as a result of parents dying from AIDS. By mid 1997, 10 million children under the age of 15 had lost their parents to AIDS worldwide [and] at the end of 2000, there were more than 13 million orphans worldwide (Deame 2000). Presently there are 15 million children who have lost their parents to AIDS. This is because of rise in poverty, poor health care systems, and limited resources for prevention and care which fuel the spread.
AIDS is responsible for leaving a large number of children in Africa without one or both parents, in some countries larger proportions have lost their parents to AIDS than to any other cause of death. This means that were it not for AIDS epidemic, these children would not have been orphaned. According to Robbins (2004), AIDS has already orphaned more than 12 million African children. These numbers are projected to increase since millions of children currently live with sick and dying parents. In Africa, there are millions of children orphaned by AIDS and they suffer from the tragedy of losing both parents to AIDS. In addition, they grow up in deprived and traumatic circumstances without support from their immediate family members, without parental care and love and most are deprived of their basic rights to shelter, food, health and education. In Africa 7000 young people are infected everyday 2000 of these are mostly
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