AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC): Problems, Response, and Issues for Congress [March 1, 2004] [open pdf - 126KB]
"Since HIV/AIDS was discovered in 1981, more than 20 million people have lost their lives to the virus. Over 40 million are currently living with HIV/AIDS, including nearly 3 million children under the age of 15. Ninety-five percent of those living with the virus reside in developing countries. In Africa, more than 7,000 young people are infected every day, 2,000 of whom are under the age of 15. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have estimated that at the end of 2001, 13.4 million children under the age of 15 had lost one or both parents to AIDS, with the majority (82%) in sub-Saharan Africa. Two million children lost their parents due to AIDS in 2000, orphaning a child every 14 seconds that year. By 2010, it is expected that more than 25 million children will be orphaned by this deadly virus. Due to the 10-year time lag between HIV-infection and death, officials predict that orphan populations will continue to rise for a similar period, even after the HIV rate begins to decline. Experts say only massive spending to prolong the lives of parents could be expected to change this trend."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32252
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/