‘Apocalypse’ of AIDS Orphans Next Big Challenge for African HIV/AIDS Fight, U.N. Envoy Stephen Lewis Says
Sub-Saharan Africa's "apocalypse of orphans" -- more than 20 million AIDS orphans are predicted to live in the region by 2010 -- is expected to be the region's next challenge in the fight against HIV/AIDS, U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis said in an interview on Monday, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reports. Although an estimated one million people in the region now have access to low-cost antiretroviral drugs, the world is "just now beginning to respond" to the growing number of children in sub-Saharan Africa who have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related causes, Lewis said. "These kids are not just hungry and aren't in school because they can't afford school fees. They're not just isolated and living in desperate circumstances. They're traumatized. They've watched their parents die," Lewis added. UNICEF Canada CEO David Agnew agreed that more attention needs to be paid to African AIDS orphans. He noted that 95% of such orphans receive no financial support beyond their own extended families (Kelly, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 4/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.