UNAIDS Report Shows Progress Toward Elimination of New Pediatric HIV Infections
November 23, 2010
The just-released 2010 Global AIDS Epidemic update
by UNAIDS has good news for efforts to eliminate pediatric HIV and AIDS around the world.
The report shows that in 2009, there has been progress in:
- Increasing access to services to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV;
- Reducing new infections in children; and
- Providing treatment for children, mothers, and families living with the virus.
According to the report, 370,000 children were infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission in 2009, down from 2008, and a 24% drop from just five years earlier. This is in large part thanks to rapid scale-up of PMTCT services by the Foundation, national governments, and other partners.
Click image to read report.
Some African countries – such as Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
, and Swaziland
– have achieved more than 80% PMTCT coverage, and several others are getting closer to this goal.
According to the Foundation’s Dr. Nick Hellmann, Executive Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs:
“The rapid expansion of PMTCT efforts has dramatically increased HIV testing among pregnant women and led to more seamless integration of PMTCT services into routine pregnancy care – both identified by the report as needed action items.”
Also, the UNAIDS report documents that more children living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2009, a total of 354,000.
But children are still less likely than adults to receive lifesaving treatment, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the pandemic is at its worst. And pregnant women and mothers living with HIV are also not receiving the treatment they need to protect their own health.
Some countries like Swaziland, where the Foundation supports sizable programs, have demonstrated success through major initiatives to integrate HIV treatment into maternal and child health settings.
“The progress – and the continued need – identified by UNAIDS gives us achievable targets in our mission to eliminate pediatric AIDS, and to ensure a healthy future for children and families living with HIV throughout the world,” according to Dr. Hellmann.
Click here to read the Foundation’s press release
about the UNAIDS 2010 Global AIDS Epidemic update.