The constant number of the children living and orphaned by HIV AIDS shows how the AIDS epidemic continues to affect children disproportionately and in many harmful ways. This possess a question, are we bracing ourselves to a new war, on Hiv aids; the rebirth of reinfection?.
Many Sub Saharan nations, a core example is Uganda, has seen tremendous reduction of the virus predominance of the virus over the years. This has been received well and has been a benchmark in the slowly eradication of the virus spread. What, however, that has not been addressed are the repurcations. A wild fire always leaves a trail of distuction, so has this disease. The ghostly veil has been not been divulged . The destruction that the virus caused was catastrophic and seen the creation of millions of orphans. AIDS-affected children in Africa will number in the tens of millions and rising for years to come. It is disturbing that most of these government have neglected this shocking statistic.
In Kenya alone,in 1999 the UN estimated that there were about 730,000 children under age of thirteen who had lost their mother or both parents to AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic, with about 550,000 of these children still living.The Kenya National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease Control Programme (NASCOP) estimates that there will be 1.5 million orphans under fifteen years by 2005, largely due to AIDS.
The good news is the prevention strategies used are working. The bad news?
Its worth noting how many health institutions over the continents have controlled the passing of mother to child infection, and keeping count of new infant infection. However this was not the case a mere decade ago. Moreover, the records of children out there infted with the virus during birth and are still living with it through their teenage years is not there!
What does this mean?
In most parts of Sub Saharan regions in Africa, girl child are given to maariage at an early age, mean age of 12 to 16 years. Much of these practises are pre existent till today dominantly in the rural and periurban regions. Likewise, at teenage its estimated that girls from a reral setting would get sexuactive at age 12.What this means is that new reinfections occur unnoticed. According to the UNAIDS Global report on Hiv(2000) , the highest prevallance and deaths were recorded between 1993 to 1998. In 1993,there were 2.8 million people living with AIDs globally, 85% in Africa. Suppose many of the orphans left out of this disaster were living today, their mean age could be 15!
The governments do not have a clear policy in determining such cases largly because Hiv testing is voluntary.
This shocking revelation is a shock to many in the medical profession. Are we about to see the increase reinfection rate?