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High HIV Rates for South African Children
January 9, 2003

"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
–Ann Landers

South Africa's AIDS epidemic is exacting a deadly toll on South Africa's children, with greater numbers infected with HIV than was previously thought, according to a recent survey reported by the Associated Press.  The survey found that 5.6 percent of children ages 2 to 14 were HIV-positive and that 13 percent of children in this age bracket had lost one or both of their parents to AIDS.  Study results indicate that 11.4 percent of the population of South Africa over the age of two -- 4.5 million people -- were HIV-positive. 
The study was commissioned by a foundation started by former South African President Nelson Mandela and carried out by the Human Sciences Research Council.  "This is a serious and urgent problem," states Mandela, who has been a leading campaigner against AIDS since leaving office in 1999.  "Without children there can be no nation, there can be no future leaders of our country." 

The impact of the AIDS epidemic on the children is the focus on a session at the 2003 World Forum on Early Care and Education.  For complete details go to www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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