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WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDS launch global alliance to end AIDS in children by 2030

Globally only 52% of children living with HIV are on life-saving treatment, compared to 76% of adults receiving antiretrovirals

WHO

A new global alliance between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been launched, with an aim to ensure that no child living with HIV is denied treatment by 2030 and to prevent new infant HIV infections.

According to new data from the UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2022, only half (52%) of children living with HIV globally are on life-saving treatment, compared to the three-quarters of adults (76%) receiving antiretrovirals.

The new Global Alliance for Ending AIDS in Children by 2030 was announced by leading figures at the International AIDS Conference taking place in Montreal, Canada.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said: “No child should be born with or grow up with HIV, and no child with HIV should go without treatment. The fact that only half of children with HIV receive antiretrovirals is a scandal, and a stain on our collective conscience. The Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children is an opportunity to renew our commitment to children and their families to unite, to speak and to act with purpose and in solidarity with all mothers, children and adolescents.”

The alliance also includes civil society movements such as the Global Network of People living with HIV, national governments in the most affected countries and international partners.

In its first phase, 12 countries have joined the alliance, including Angola, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Commenting on the goals of the alliance, Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS executive director, said: "By bringing together new improved medicines, new political commitment, and the determined activism of communities, we can be the generation that ends AIDS in children.”

Four pillars for collective action have been identified, including closing the treatment for pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls and women living with HIV, as well as preventing and detecting new HIV infections among this group.

Moreover, the alliance will aim to ensure accessible testing and optimised treatment, with comprehensive care for infants, children and adolescents exposed to and living with HIV. It will also address rights, gender equality and the social and structural barriers that hinder access to services.

Article by
Emily Kimber

3rd August 2022

From: Healthcare

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