Children with AIDS in Africa

Children with AIDS in Africa

The above map shows the estimated % of children (0-14yrs) with HIv receiving anteretroviral therapy in 2015. Whilst the figures are now dated they are the mopst up-to-date avaiable and provide a good indication of the number of children in Africa with HIV/AIDS. [Credit:]

AIDS is a fairy recent phenomenon, one that is now known to have started in Africa after scientists identified a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus in Cameroon chimpanzee colonies ~ SIV being a 'viral ancestor' of the HIV-1 virus that causes AIDS in humans. AIDS was first transferred to humans in the 1930s with HIV-2 being identified as migrating to humans in Guinea-Bissau during the 1940s. At this stage AIDS was still a relatively unknown virus and even by the 1960s only around 200 infections had been noted, though possibly the figure was somewhat higher as medical staff were not fully aware of its existence. However in the 1970s, the virus entered the urban social network after a solitary infected individual travelled down the River Congo from Cameroon and arrived at the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital city, Kinshasa.

A tragedy of epidemic proportions was about to begin; an epidemic that was sweep across Africa claiming the lives of the equivalent of the entire combined populations of London and New York by 2007. Children in Africa become infected with AIDS for very much the same reasons as all children throughout the world, however certain cultural issues and practices in Africa has made the spread more endemic. Firstly, a lack of education and awareness amongst parents and children is a major contributory factor, particularly street children who are out of education and often sexually exploited by infected adults.

HIV Prevalence 2019

Although direct sexual contact is not a major factor in AIDS transmission, in certain countries such as Lesotho 30% of boys report that they have had sex before the age of 15yrs compared with 6% in developed countries. Such sex is often with older, unprotected partners. By far, most children in Africa with AIDS are infected through their mother either during pregnancy or by breastfeeding.

The table below gives facts and figures for children living with AIDS for each country in Africa. [Please note: We are awaiting more up-to-date figures covering the period > 2019, however the following provides a snapshot of the situation.}

Country Child population (0 -17yrs) Number of children (0-14yrs) infected Orphaned by AIDS (0-17yrs)
Algeria 11,712,000 No data No data
Angola 9,405.000 17,000 50,000
Benin 4,309,000 5,400 29,000
Botswana 778,000 15,000 95,000
Burkina Faso 8,043,000 10,000 100,000
Burundi 3,733,000 15,000 120,000
Cameroon 9,142,000 45,000 300,000
Cape Verde 221,000 No data No data
Central African Republic 2,061,000 14,000 72,000
Chad 5,724,000 19,000 85,000
Comoros 293,000 No data No data
Congo, DR 39,000,000 43,000 320,000
Congo, Republic 1,716,000 6,600 69,000
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 9,768,000 52,000 420,000
Djibouti 371,000 1,100 5,000
Egypt 31,527,000 No data No data
Equatorial Guinea 317,000 No data 5,000
Eritrea 2,368,000 3,100 18,000
Ethiopia 41,018,000 92,000 650,000
Gabon 633,000 2,300 18,000
Gambia 811,000 No data 3,000
Ghana 10.585,000 17,000 160,000
Guinea 4,872,000 6,300 25,000
Guinea-Bissau 769,000 1,500 6,000
Kenya 19,182,000 No data No data
Lesotho 954,000 12,000 110,000
Liberia 1,878,000 3,100 15,000
Libya 2,220,000 No data No data
Madagascar 9,571,000 No data 3,000
Malawi 7,900,000 91,000 550,000
Mali 6,507,000 9,400 44,000
Mauritania 1,489,000 No data 3,000
Mauritius 361,000 No data No data
Morocco 11,030,000 No data No data
Mozambique 11,315,000 100,000 400,000
Namibia 946,000 14,000 66,000
Niger 8,429,000 3,200 25,000
Nigeria 74,519,000 220,000 1,200.000
Rwanda 4,757,000 19,000 220,000
Sao Tome and Principe 77,000 No data No data
Senegal 6,198,000 3,100 8,000
Seychelles 43,000 No data No data
Sierra Leone 2,753,000 4,000 16,000
Somalia 4,562,000 No data 9,000
South Africa 18,286,000 280,000 1,400,000
Sudan 19,098,000 25,000 No data
Swaziland 561,000 15,000 56,000
Tanzania 21,777,000 140,000 970,000
Togo 3,032,000 10,000 68,000
Tunisia 3,004,000 No data No data
Uganda 17,728,000 130,000 1,200,000
Western Sahara No data No data No data
Zambia 6,686,000 95,000 600,000


120,000 1,000,000

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