Unicef Logo and the text: Children Under Threat. The State of The World's Children 2005.

2004/Giacomo Pirozzi

Children orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS

When HIV/AIDS enters a household by infecting one or both parents, the very fabric of a child’s life falls apart. By 2003, 15 million children under the age of 18 had been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Millions more live in households with sick and dying family members. The effects of the epidemic pervade every aspect of children’s lives: their emotional well-being, physical security, mental development and overall health. Children, especially girls, must often drop out of school to go to work, care for their parents, look after their siblings and put food on the table. These children are often much more at risk of facing malnutrition and becoming victims of violence, exploitative child labour, discrimination or other abuses. Read more…

The United Nations and its partner organizations have endorsed a framework of action to provide guidance to donor nations and the governments of affected countries on how to respond to the urgent needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Specific goals to be achieved by 2005 include developing national strategies to deal with orphans and other vulnerable children, ensuring non-discrimination, mobilizing resources, and building international cooperation. Read more…

Resources for providing support to orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS have increased in recent years, not least through the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the start-up in 2004 of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in the United States. Nonetheless, funding for programmes for orphans and vulnerable children remains far below the level required to adequately protect and support this group. Read more…

Also in this section




UNICEF’s work on HIV/AIDS [Web]

Facing the Future Together: Report of the Secretary-General's Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa [PDF]

Africa's Orphaned Generations [PDF]

Children on the Brink 2004: A joint report of new orphan estimates and a framework for action [PDF]

Fighting HIV/AIDS: Strategies for success 2002-2005 [PDF]

"Commercial exploitation of children, especially young women is a stupid act of someone who doesn't value women who in fact gave us our lives (our mothers)."
girl, 17, the Philippines

Log on to www.unicef.org/voy

Number of children who have been  orphaned by HIV/AIDS worldwide: 15 million; the number of children living in Germany: 15.2 million; the number in the United Kingdom: 13.2 million.
© UNICEF 2004