The quality of environment in South African Childcare Centres

Human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV, progressively destroys the body’s ability to fight infections and cancers by killing cells of the body’s immune system. Eventually HIV can cause the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). People who are diagnosed with AIDS are HIV infected people who have less than 200 CD4+T cells per cubic millimeter of blood (www.niaid.nih.gov, 2007).

HIV and AIDS are epidemics particularly relevant in Africa in the 21st century. Predominately Swaziland and South-Africa are parts of Africa where HIV and AIDS epidemics are considered to be the worst in the world (Marcus, 2004). In 2005 there were approximately 5.5 million people in South-Africa living with HIV. Round about 240.000 of these people were children younger than 15 years living with HIV (UNAIDS, 2006). The epidemic mostly affects young women (17%) because they are four times more likely to become HIV- infected than are young men (4.4%) (Shisana et al., 2005 in UNAIDS, 2006).

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