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UN, US Warn AIDS Increasing Africa Orphan Rates

A new report says the global AIDS epidemic is leaving an epic number of children in sub-Saharan Africa orphaned or vulnerable.

The report by UNAIDS, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and President Bush's emergency AIDS program, was presented at the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto.

The report says 12 million of Africa's 48 million orphans have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

A UNICEF spokeswoman, Mary Mahy, told VOA the problem is expected to worsen, adding that children who lose their parents face more obstacles to survival.

She said sub-Saharan Africa is the only world region where the number of orphaned children is increasing.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton also spoke at the conference, calling for improved efforts to fight stigma and discrimination against those infected with HIV-AIDS.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.