Number of AIDS Orphans To Reach 25 Million by 2010, Report Says
The number of children throughout the world who have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illness is expected to reach 25 million by 2010, according to a report released Wednesday by the International AIDS Trust and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, the AP/Detroit News reports (Rulon, AP/Detroit News, 4/8). The report, titled "Preserving Our Future -- HIV/AIDS and the World's Children," is the first in a series planned by IAT highlighting issues connected to the global AIDS pandemic (IAT/CAAF release, 4/7). The report says that more than 2.5 million of the estimated 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are younger than 15 years old, and about 11.8 million HIV-positive people are between the ages of 15 and 24. In addition, the number of orphans is expected to nearly double from the current 13.4 million to 25 million by 2010. Orphans "experience high levels of psychological distress, ... social isolation, stigma and discrimination" and are more at risk of "physical and sexual abuse, as well as child labor exploitation," according to the report (AP/Detroit News, 4/8). The report, which was released on Wednesday at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., by Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), will be distributed to members of Congress, business leaders and AIDS advocates. "Many see the global crisis of HIV as a problem that is out of control and unmanageable. The goal of these reports is to break the crisis down into specific issues that people can understand, as well as demonstrate that there are solutions," IAT President and CEO Sandy Thurman said (IAT/CAAF release, 4/7). DeWine said that the report "underscores the need for Congress to approve [funding for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] to improve public health systems in developing countries," according to the AP/News (AP/Detroit News, 4/8).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.