This paper was extracted from a broader study conducted on the effectiveness of social support mechanisms provided to human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) orphans in Tembisa, Gauteng Province. Using a qualitative research design, an interview guide was designed for in‐depth interviews, which were conducted with 12 HIV‐ and AIDS‐affected and ‐infected orphans. In addition, a focus group discussion was run with 13 children's caregivers and two social workers were interviewed as key informants. Nevertheless, this paper discusses the challenges faced by orphans of HIV and AIDS. Maslow's hierarchy of needs was used as the theoretical framework of the study. The findings indicate that the death of a parent signifies the disruption of the basic pattern of a child's life living in the urban area where the role of extended families does not exist as compared to rural areas where a child belongs to the whole village. There are challenges that are impacting on the daily lives of the HIV/AIDS‐affected and ‐infected orphans. Notably, the participants’ narratives suggested that there were challenges in terms of health, shelter, education and food. It is concluded therefore that the war against the impacts of HIV and AIDS is still far from being achieved.
Part of the book: HIV/AIDS