Chip Lyons Responds: TIME Magazine’s ‘No Baby Should Be Born With HIV’

Mother and child in Malawi

Eric Bond, EGPAF

I was both pleased and proud to see the work of three past Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award (EGSA) winners – Drs. Katherine Luzuriaga, Deborah Persaud, and Hannah Gay – featured in Alice Park’s TIME story on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Their work exemplifies the decades of dedication and innovation that has gotten us to this critical moment in the fight to end the pandemic – where we can now realistically talk about ending AIDS in children.

As I shared in a recent TIME piece, Focus on Children to Defeat AIDS Epidemic, through transformational investments by the United States, particularly the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), there has been a 70% decline in the number of new infections in children worldwide since 2000. With PEPFAR support, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) has reached more than 26 million women with services, and 2 million babies have been born AIDS-free.

Yet, every day, 400 children are newly infected with HIV because their families lack access to the health services they need to prevent transmission. Clearly, there is still work to be done. We must build on the momentum of U.S. leadership. If we are to end AIDS as a public health threat, we must continue our commitment to evidence-based, effective prevention and treatment services for children.  

Thanks to the tireless research and innovation to which these distinguished scientists have dedicated their careers, and the ongoing commitment of so many around the world, the elimination of pediatric AIDS by 2020 is within our reach. It is time to finish the job of ushering in a generation free of AIDS.