By Robin Lustig
A home for Aids orphans in Mombasa, Kenya
Pepile is seven years old and very ill. Her father and younger brother died of Aids, her mother is HIV positive. So is Pepile.
She is one of 23 million Africans who are living with HIV and Aids, just one young life in a disaster which has been called the greatest catastrophe to hit the African continent since slavery.
I met Pepile in her bare, stone home at the end of a dusty hillside track in the rolling countryside of the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal.
She is bright and loves to talk, but she knows she is desperately ill. There are no drugs for her, just as there are no drugs for the vast majority of Africans who are living with HIV/Aids.
Care workers from a hospice 20 miles away, the South Coast Hospice in Port Shepstone, down on the coast, visit her when they can, bringing little more than words of comfort and support.
Lucky Barnabas is also living with HIV. She is 36 and has two daughters.
What she hopes for, she told me, is that she'll live two more years to see her eldest daughter finish school. Then, it will be her responsibility to look after her younger sister. Two more Aids orphans to join the 10 million already trying to survive in Africa.
According to one recent estimate, one quarter of the population of southern Africa may die of Aids. Businesses are losing their workers, schools are losing their teachers, farms are losing their labourers.
On one farm in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, I was told that of a total workforce of around 200, two a week are dying of Aids.