New Global Push to Close Pediatric HIV Treatment Gap Launched
July 20, 2016
Sustained gains in preventing new HIV infections among children have laid the groundwork to end pediatric AIDS at least a decade sooner than the global target for the epidemic as a whole. However, to end pediatric AIDS, prevention efforts will need to be matched by an equally robust effort to address the treatment needs of children living with HIV.
While children (aged 0-14 years) accounted for 5% of people living with HIV in 2015, they represented 10% of all AIDS-related deaths. Half of all children who acquire HIV perinatally die by their second birthday unless they receive antiretroviral therapy, with peak mortality occurring at 6-8 weeks of life.
Participants in the session included Raymonde Goudou-Coffie, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene of Côte d'Ivoire, Molotsi Monyamane, Minister of Health of Lesotho, David Parirenyatwa, Minister of Health and Child Welfare of Zimbabwe, and high-level representatives of the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Health Organization, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies and Caritas Internationalis.
The session resulted in an urgent call to increase political commitment for pediatric HIV treatment, rapid scale-up of point-of-care diagnostic tools for children, intensifying testing efforts for older children, strengthening service delivery and patient monitoring for mothers and their infants and expanding the array of child-appropriate antiretroviral medicines. The renewed global push to close pediatric treatment gaps support the AIDS-free component of the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free framework launched by UNAIDS and partners.
Stopping New HIV Infections Among Children and Adolescents and Providing Treatment to Women and Children
This article was provided by UNAIDS. It is a part of the publication The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016). Visit UNAIDS' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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