Support for Children Who are Affected/Infected with HIV/AIDS in the Classroom

Maphetla M Machaba


Daily reports from the media on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the South African society make it clear that this disease will eventually affect every citizen in one way or another. Sontag (1997:171) puts in strong terms: “The survival of the national, of civilized society is said to be at stake”. The Government Gazette (1999:4) stresses this point further by stating that HIV/AIDS is one of the major challenges to all South Africans. The Gazette quotes alarming statistics proving that this pandemic in South Africa is among the most severe in the world and it continues to increase at an estimated rate of 33.8%. It is further estimated that almost 25% of the general population will be HIV positive by the year 2010. Van Dyk (2001:6) supports this statement when he says that HIV/AIDS is not a health crisis in Africa, it is a human catastrophe, which will have an impact on every living person in this region. The Joint United National Programmes on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, March 2001) reports that a decade ago HIV/AIDS was already regarded as a serious health crisis. It is estimated that from 1991, 9 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa were infected with HIV and that 5 million would die by the end of the decade. Furthermore, the report alleges that the actual rate of infection at the present moment is three times higher than the projection made at that time. As the 21st century dawned, 71% (24.4 million) of all the people in the world with HIV lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa’s 12.1 million AIDS orphans represented 95% of the AIDS orphans in the world. Of the 5.6 million new HIV infections worldwide in 1999, 3.8 million (about 68%) occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa – the region with the fastest growing epidemic.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1766

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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