Towards an AIDS-free generation: UNICEF Sixth Stocktaking Report
November 28, 2013
An AIDS-free generation means a generation in which all children are born free of HIV and remain so for the first two decades of life, from birth through adolescence.
UNICEF's Children and AIDS: Sixth Stocktaking Report examines the progress being made in the response to HIV and AIDS for children. The report applauds the progress made towards eliminating mother to child transmission (EMTCT) in the first decade while raising the alarm on the slower pace of progress in pediatric AIDS and the second decade of childhood (adolescents 10-19 years).
Progress made towards EMTCT
The number of new HIV infections among children (0-15 years) declined with 35 percent between 2009 and 2012. In 2012, coverage of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for pregnant women living with HIV reached 62 percent in 22 priority countries. Yet, still 230,000 children were newly infected with HIV in these countries during 2012.
Slow pace of progress in access to treatment for children
Progress in access to treatment for children lags behind progress for adults. Overall, ART coverage for children living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries is half that for adults – 34 percent of children in 2012 compared with 64 percent of adults in 2012. In the absence of timely ART initiation, more than half of the infants living with HIV die before the age of 2 year.
More attention needed to prevent and treat HIV during adolescence
The report furthermore urges the international community to pay attention to the crucial second decade of childhood. At the end of 2012, 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV and approximately two thirds of new infections in adolescents (15-19) were among girls. Adolescents have unique needs regarding sexuality education, prevention, treatment, care and support and encounter numerous barriers to accessing services.
STOP AIDS NOW! World AIDS Day campaign: treatment for children living with HIV
STOP AIDS NOW! welcomes the new report, that highlights key strategies to prevent HIV and to accelerate access to the treatment, care and support that children affected by AIDS need to remain alive and well.
Around World AIDS Day, we campaign for successful and sustainable treatment of children with HIV. STOP AIDS NOW! and partners developed a project 'To an AIDS-free generation: treatment for all children living with HIV in Uganda', and with our campaign we raise funds and call for action to get all children living with HIV on the treatment they need.
STOP AIDS NOW! furthermore focuses on maternal and newborn health and prevention for young people. Read more about our work:
- Quality improvement of HIV and reproductive, maternal and newborn health services
- Access Services Knowledge (ASK) – What young people want, what young people need
- Link Up – Improve SRHR of young people living with and affected by HIV
- Quality of SRHR and HIV prevention programmes for youth
Read more about the progress in the response to HIV and AIDS for children in the report.