AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe
AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe

An AIDS orphan is a child who became an orphan because one or both parents died from AIDS.

In statistics from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the term is used for a child whose mother has died due to AIDS before the child's 15th birthday, regardless of whether the father is still alive.[1] As a result of this definition, one study estimated that 80% of all AIDS orphans still have one living parent.[2]

There are 70,000 new AIDS orphans a year (as of 2001).[3]

Because AIDS affects mainly those who are sexually active, AIDS-related deaths are often people who are their family's primary wage earners. The resulting AIDS orphans frequently depend on the state for care and financial support, particularly in Africa.[4]

The highest number of orphans due to AIDS alive in 2007 was in South Africa[4] (although the definition of AIDS orphan in South African statistics includes children up to the age of 18 who have lost either biological parent).[5] In 2005 the highest number of AIDS orphans as a percentage of all orphans was in Zimbabwe.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Archived 3 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine PDF
  2. ^ Stuijt, Adriana (4 April 2009). "South Africa's 3,4-million Aids-orphans to get 'adult' rights".
  3. ^ AIDS Orphan's Preventable Death Challenges Those Left Behind, by Tony Karon, 1 June 2001
  4. ^ a b c "AIDS orphans". Avert. Archived from the original on 9 October 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2006.
  5. ^ children count[permanent dead link] Government of South Africa