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World AIDS Day program shows how AIDS affects its smallest victims in AIDS Orphans: Lost Childhood

"It's hard to stay here with Sne, just the two of us. We don't know yet who is going to stay with us here. If we are hungry now, there is no one to tell."
--Mbali Mbata, 13-year-old orphan

In South Africa, almost six million people have been diagnosed with the HIV virus and perhaps many more live with the virus without even knowing it. Although South Africa is the twentieth wealthiest country in the world, a very rich country in the eyes of its neighboring African nations, little has been done to prevent, treat or assist those who suffer from this incurable disease. Often, those with the virus or AIDS are told to go home to die.

The children of AIDS victims must learn how to fend for themselves because either their parents are too sick to work or have died. Orphans like Mbali Mbata, 13, and her brother, Sne-Themba, 7, have inherited a fate beyond comprehension: surviving alone scared, stigmatized and grieving with no one to help them go on.

Statistics show that if South Africa does not change its position on AIDS, there will be two million AIDS orphans by the end of this decade. Discovery Health Channel gives viewers a sharper understanding of what it's like to be orphaned in a small South African village in a World AIDS Day special narrated by acclaimed actress Angela Bassett. AIDS ORPHANS: LOST CHILDHOOD, premiering December 1 at 8 PM ET/PT. With horrible living conditions and little food to eat, these children must forego their childhoods and live as adults on their own.


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Contact: Tahli Kouperstein
Tahli_Kouperstein@Discovery.com
240-662-2221
Discovery Health Channel
18-Nov-2003


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