World AIDS Day: Remembering the Children

Today is World AIDS Day once again—and while Secretary of State Hilary Clinton may have a vision for an “AIDS-free generation,” HIV/AIDS continues to devastate lives and communities around the world. Since so many other LGBT sites are ably covering how it impacts the LGBT community, I want to instead once again highlight some recent statistics about HIV/AIDS and children. The numbers, of course, don’t capture the personal stories—the parents who must watch their children die, and the children left orphaned—but the data is sobering in its own way.

According to the latest UNAIDS estimates (via Avert):

  • At the end of 2010, there were 3.4 million children [defined as those under 15 years of age] living with HIV around the world—up from 2.5 million in 2009.
  • An estimated 390,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2010.
  • Of the 1.8 million people who died of AIDS during 2010, one in seven were children. Every hour, around 30 children die as a result of AIDS.
  • There are more than 16 million children under the age of 18 who have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
  • Most children living with HIV/AIDS – almost 9 in 10 – live in sub-Saharan Africa, the region of the world where AIDS has taken its greatest toll.

There are many ways to help; UNICEF is one.