At present, Malawi's urban areas indicate an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of nearly 26%, with rural areas having a prevalence around 12%. As a result of this growth in HIV prevalence and AIDS deaths, the number of orphans in Malawi is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years from 210,000 in 1998, with the expected number of children to experience loss of at least one parent to AIDS exceeding 700,000 in the year 2010.1Adult HIV/AIDS prevalence, and resulting orphan rates in Malawi are among the highest in the world, greatly effecting the most productive age group through disease and younger nationals through loss and despair.Young men and women between the ages of 15 and 24 are particularly vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as over 46% of all new infections occur in this age group. Further within this age group, young female adolescents are most at risk to HIV infection with a prevalence rate sometime 4 - 6 times higher than that of their male counterparts.Alternatively, the overall prevalence rate of HIV is lowest among primary school aged youth between 5 and 14. It is with this group that prevention activities should be targeted, as they provide a special opportunity to affect the future course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic - and the future of Malawi.
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