By 2001, statistics from UNAIDS revealed that AIDS had killed one or both parents of 13.4 million children still under the age of 15. The ranks of these children will soon be swelled by millions of additional others who are living with sick and dying parents. This tragedy continues to worsen as AIDS continues to kill ever larger numbers of people. By 2010, the total number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS is expected to nearly double to 25 million. HIV/AIDS has killed more people in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world, and the vast majority of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS are also in this region.
Children suffer profoundly as their parents fall sick or die. Their experience is often characterized by: