Orphans ‘Most Neglected’ Part of Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Opinion Piece Says
Orphans are the "most neglected" part of the war against HIV/AIDS, "perhaps because they are the living, and, for some, shameful reminders of a disease gone rampant," UNICEF Canada President David Agnew writes in a Vancouver Sun opinion piece. There are 11.5 million AIDS orphans in Africa, and the number could grow to 20 million by 2010, Agnew says. In Zimbabwe, although the majority of orphans are cared for by their relatives, the "sheer number combined with the wretched economy ... has put enormous strain on those supports ... [and] orphans are increasingly left to fend for themselves," Agnew says. UNICEF's fight against HIV/AIDS has "three major fronts": prevention, treatment and care for young people who are infected with and affected by the disease, Agnew says, adding, "For their part, the orphans are struggling to make the best of their often-wretched lives." Agnew says that the orphans continue to "have their dreams," which are "[n]othing extravagant, and nothing beyond the reach of a caring world," concluding, "But that's a world too few have experienced" (Agnew, Vancouver Sun, 2/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.