An unintended catastrophe

The unseen outcome of nearly 20 million AIDS orphans without strong social service support is not just today’s humanitarian crisis—it is the socioeconomic catastrophe of the future.

Preventing unborn children from contracting their mother’s HIV/AIDS infection seems like the right thing to do. The programs are inexpensive, relatively easy to implement, last for only a few months, and usually provide a concrete, positive result—an infant free of infection. That is the intended or obvious result of the programs. The success of these programs is significant: Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV falls from between 20 and 50 percent during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding to under 5 percent. The unintended or invisible result of these programs is that over the last decade, they have swelled the ranks of AIDS orphans by allowing uninfected children to live long enough to watch one or both of their parents die from AIDS.

In 2009, UNAIDS estimated that there were more than 16 million children worldwide who had been orphaned because of the HIV/AIDS-related deaths of their parents. This figure was nearly equal to the population of Australia. The overwhelming numbers of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria alone having 2.5 million AIDS orphans, South Africa having 1.9 million, Tanzania with 1.3 million, and Kenya and Uganda with 1.2 million AIDS orphans each.1

Looking more closely at the situation in South Africa, we see that the number of AIDS orphans as a percentage of total orphans has increased from virtually zero in 1990 to more than 75 percent today. Despite the laudable successes in adult HIV/AIDS treatment program coverage over the past several years, the Actuarial Society of South Africa estimates that this proportion will continue to grow to almost 82 percent by 2025.2

Read the full article at The American website.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Nicholas
Eberstadt

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.