One of the many consequences of the global HIV epidemic is the impact of adult parental AIDS illness and death on children. By 2011, there were approximately 142 million orphaned children worldwide, most of whom reside in the developing world, including sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

There are an estimated 1.4 million AIDS-orphaned children in South Africa, and millions more who live with parents who are living with AIDS. The social and economic impacts of the epidemic on current and future generations of children are only beginning to be understood.

CEBI has been at the forefront of research into abstinence-only and abstinence-plus prevention programmes, which are well funded and widespread. These programmes have been championed by, among others, the US government under President Bush, particularly through the international development plan known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Abstinence-only programmes are intended to prevent, stop or decrease sexual activity, and some highlight the limitations of condom use. They are distinct from abstinence-plus programmes, which generally provide information on condom use for people who are sexually active.