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Ending AIDS Begins with Africa

Children at the Mamohau Center, where they receive nutritious food, education, love, and psychological support.

Can AIDS be eliminated in our lifetime? US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks so. Just in time for World AIDS Day, December 1, Secretary Clinton has unveiled a blueprint for creating an AIDS-free generation. Its success depends largely on achievements in Sub Saharan Africa, which has two-thirds of the world’s 34 million people living with AIDS.

A decade ago hardly anyone in Sub Saharan Africa received treatment for HIV. Last year more than 8 million people received antiretroviral drugs. The blueprint calls for a strategy that increases the number of HIV-positive people in treatment, circumcising men in countries that have high levels of infection, and treating all HIV-positive pregnant women.  Eventually, this would reduce the number of new HIV infections to a level below the number of ongoing infections and lead to an AIDS-free generation. The United States is spending millions of dollars throughout Sub Saharan Africa to deliver treatment and prevention to this end.

Aid for Africa members deal with the realities of HIV and AIDS every day.  Many are working to provide treatment and prevention.  Others are working to support the children made vulnerable by the AIDS pandemic. The United Nations estimates that more than 15 million children have lost a parent to AIDS. Many of these children live with their extended families, which can barely support their own children. In South Africa, African Solutions to African Problems (ASAP) supports local community day-care centers, which are run by local women, where orphaned and vulnerable children receive proper nutrition, healthcare, schooling, and psychological support. Through ASAP, some 13,000 children have received support and more than 700 women have received on-going training to build their expertise in all areas of their work, including project management and financial oversight.

Read more about how Aid for Africa members are working to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa.