In 2010 a study by the South African Department of Health showed that over 30% of pregnant women (ages 15-49) were living with HIV. A separate study in 2008 as study showed on average 13.9% of women had HIV compared to only 7.9% of men. More specifically, between the ages of 20-24 prevalence among women is 21.1% on average compared to only 5.1% of men in the same age range. In rural communities like Underberg KwaZulu-Natal it is estimated that these numbers are much higher.
AIDS is not established as a cause of death in South Africa, but according to a 2005 study between 1997 and 2002 deaths amongst adults rose 63% (116% alone in 2002) and it it believed that since this is the same era that AIDS was on the rise in South Africa it is a major contributor to the increased mortality rate.
CCFL is not focused on HIV and AIDS, but more on the children that suffer from the physical, mental and emotional health complications that come from the impact these disease have had on their families and communities. The social outcast that many children born with HIV/AIDS experience leads to parental and family abandonment, physical and mental abuse, lack of community support and health complications and/or death. CCFL is dedicated to supporting the healthy development of these children through faith, family and community while providing opportunities for them to prosper academically and socially. Click to learn more about our work and the work of our partners.
Another major contributing factor to spreading of HIV/AIDS and the social consequences of having the disease is the lack of education about preventing contracting the virus and living responsibly with it. One of the main reasons why more women then men have HIV/AIDS in South Africa is because men have multiple sexual partners, spreading the disease to their partners and the offspring that come as a result of unprotected sex. A popular wives’ tale is that one can be “cured” of HIV/AIDS by engaging in intercourse with a virgin, leading to the rape of many teenagers, children and even infants. Historically local governments have not been fully vested in the education, prevention and care surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, but perspective and effort has shifted towards the positive for the past decade. Despite a decade long effort, much education is still needed amongst adult males.
CCFL and it’s partners have combated this viscous cycle through encouraging and educating men of the joys found in being a faithful father. Based on principles of faith, responsibility and family, the program seeks to mentor fathers to realize the personal fulfillment that comes from being fully committed to their spouse, children and the responsibilities of providing for them spiritually and temporally. This program has proven to be one of the most difficult to administer due to the lack of qualified fathers to mentor within the program.