AIDS is an epidemic that has spread around the world at an amazing pace. It is believed that it started in Africa, and that continues to be the location where the highest number of cases are diagnosed. Due to a lack of education, social structure, and medical care a large number of people with AIDS in Africa die. Partners continue to have sexual intercourse without protection so it isn’t uncommon for children to lose both parents due to the disease.
There are more than 12 million children in Africa that have become orphaned due to AIDS killing their parents. This number is expected to increase by one million children each year. Most of these children are left to fend for themselves due to the poor economic status of Africa. Many of them die due to malnutrition, a lack of nurturing, and not getting the medical care they need.
As a result of these children being on their own, they don’t develop the social skills that they need. They also don’t end up with any type of education in most instances. This is why Africa continues to struggle to break out of their cycle of poverty. Those adults that are making an income often die from AIDS before they have children old enough to take over the work. This makes it very hard for these children to end up with any decent quality of life.
For many children, their parents may be so ill for such a long time before they die from the AIDS that they weren’t able to care for their children anyway. It can be very scary for children to watch their parents die and be helpless to prevent it from happening. Many of the older siblings also feel a sense of responsibility towards their younger brothers and sisters as well.
To add to the devastation, about two million of these children are believed to have AIDS themselves. They either were born with it due to their mother being positive or they contracted it during the course of breastfeeding. These children will be very ill and then die themselves. During the process though they often have no one to comfort or care for them.