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

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The Young Face of HIV/AIDS While most of the nearly 38 million people living with HIV/AIDS are adults, the pandemic is increasingly recognized to have devastating repercussions for childhood. Over 2 million children under the age of 15 are already infected with HIV. Fifty per cent of HIV-positive infants die before they reach the age of two.

Childhood is at risk as soon as HIV/AIDS enters the household. By 2003, 15 million children – 80 per cent of them in sub-Saharan Africa – had been orphaned by the disease. The rise in infection rates among women in the region means that a growing proportion of the children orphaned because of HIV/AIDS have lost their mothers. Countless more have been deprived of their relatives, teachers and health workers. Many children have become caregivers themselves, increasing the likelihood that they will not receive an education, have access to health care, or be safeguarded from exploitation and abuse.

The pandemic has contributed to higher poverty levels, an increased incidence of child labour and dramatically shortened lifespans. In Botswana, for instance, over 37 per cent of adults are infected with HIV – and a child born there in 2003 could expect to live just 39 years, down from 65 years in 1990. In the most-affected countries, HIV/AIDS is eliminating the protective environment that is the right of every child and the first responsibility of adults to children.

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.

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Copyright © UNICEF, 2004

UNICEF’s work on early childhood development [Web]

Beyond Child Labour, Affirming Rights [PDF]

Profiting from abuse [PDF]

Children in jeopardy [PDF]

Finance development: Invest in children [PDF]

Poverty reduction begins with children [PDF]

Poverty and Children: Lessons of the 90s for Least Developed Countries [PDF]

“I think it's wonderful that people are realizing the pain of child labour... children should know what it feels like to be children... it is definitely not right to push them so far ahead and fill in the shoes of adults...”.
girl, 21, Malaysia

Log on to www.unicef.org/voy

Percentage of infants who receive DPT3 vaccine: 76

Number of infants vaccinated each year: 100 million.

Number of lives that could be saved each year through routine immunization: 2.2 million
© UNICEF 2004