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The effect of HIV & the AIDS virus in Zimbabwe

Africa has been ravaged by the AIDS virus, and the ripple of the dreaded disease will impact generations to come. Left in the wake of this plague are the continent’s children. Between 600,000 and 1 million orphans live destitute in Zimbabwe.

A 1995 study indicated that 15 percent of children in the city of Mutare (population 150,000) were orphaned. However, this number will escalate to 50 percent within 10 years, due to as many as 40 percent of Zimbabwe’s population being HIV positive. Zimbabwe’s children have a future that appears bleak, nevertheless, there are many privately funded Orphanages in the country who are trying to tackle this immense and tragic problem.

There are currently over 30 million HIV-infected people residing in Africa. Of the eleven people infected every minute world-wide, ten are from Sub-Saharan Africa (Boston Sunday Globe, 1990). Zimbabwe is no exception. In fact, Zimbabwe has the second highest rate of infection after Botswana. Roughly one third of Zimbabwean adults are infected with HIV (Wilson and Duke, 1996). According to the UNDP, the ratio of dying to survivors may be as high as 2:6-8 (Reid, 1991).

Approximately 60, 000 children lose one or both parents each year (UNICEF, 1998).

In addition to the crisis of AIDS orphans, Zimbabwe is currently suffering from an economic recession, food and petrol shortages, skyrocketing inflation and unemployment. In a country where even two parent families are struggling to make ends meet, caring for AIDS orphans is particularly difficult. With the weakening of extended families especially in urban areas, the traditional support systems are failing. As a result, many AIDS orphans are being forced out onto the streets or into institutions.




Let us take care of the children, for they have a long way to go.

Let us take care of the elders, for they have come a long way.

Let us take care of those in between, for they are doing the work.

Traditional African prayer


Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Matthew 18:5



      © 2004 Orphans in Africa Project