South Africa is associated by many predominantly with safaris, holidays, Apartheid, Nelson Mandela, gold, good wine, and the 2010 football World Cup.
South Africa is all of this.
However, for many years HIV/AIDS has kept the country in the headlines. South Africa still comes an unhappy first in many UNAIDS statistical reports (figures from 2017):
- 7.2 million (19.5%) of the world’s 36.9 million people with HIV live in South Africa
- 18.8% of 15 to 49-year-olds in South Africa are HIV+
- 270,000 new cases of HIV infection and 110,000 deaths from AIDS in 2017
- Only 61% of adults and 58% of children with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy
- In KwaZulu-Natal province, whose capital is home to GEZUBUSO Projects, 26.8% of 15 to 49-year-olds are in fact HIV+ (figures from 2016)
- In South Africa, approx. 25% of deaths are caused by HIV/AIDS (compared to approx. 0.05% in Germany)
- 280,000 children aged 0-14 years are HIV+
- Over 2 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS (source: UNAIDS)
- In 2017, the number of new cases of infection was still as high as 13,000 in children aged 0-14 years (source: UNAIDS)
- HIV/AIDS is not only a problem for those infected, but notably a social and societal issue.
As UNAIDS writes: “Orphans are particularly vulnerable to HIV because of economic and social insecurities; they are often at risk of being forced into sex, have sex in exchange for support, and typically become sexually active earlier than other children.”
The primary goal of GEZUBUSO Projects, therefore, is and shall remain that of providing HIV orphans and disadvantaged children with a safe and loving home. This includes investing in good education for the children, which we believe is equally important.