New partnership aims to end childhood AIDS by 2030

MONTREAL, Canada – Tres agencias de las Naciones Unidas y varios de sus socios anunciaron una alianza para tratar de terminar con el flagelo del HIV/SIDA en los niños para el año 2030, al concluir este martes 2 en esta ciudad la 24 Conferencia Internacional sobre AIDS.

“The treatment coverage gap between children and adults is outrageous,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

While 76% of HIV-positive adults have access to antiretroviral therapy, minors who have access to it are only 52%.

UNAIDS data indicate that 1.2 million children and adolescents with the human immunodeficiency virus do not receive treatment. Among them, 800,000 are between 0 and 14 years old, and the remaining 400,000 are between 15 and 19 years old, many of whom have recently contracted HIV.

UNAIDS estimates that by the end of 2021, 38.4 million people were living with HIV, including 1.7 million children under the age of 14, and some 28.7 million had access to antiretroviral therapy.

Last year there were 1.5 million new infections and 650,000 AIDS-related deaths Since the epidemic began nearly four decades ago, more than 40 million people have died of AIDS.

To address inequities and deepen treatment, the “Global Alliance to End Childhood AIDS by 2030” was created as part of the conference, led by UNAIDS in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Civil society organizations, including the Global Network of People Living with HIV, national governments of countries most affected and other international partners are involved.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda has, among its Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 3, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, one of goals is to end the epidemic of AIDS and other communicable diseases.

United Nations agencies have noted that stigma, discrimination, punitive laws and policies, violence and entrenched social and gender inequalities in societies make it difficult for women, adolescents and children to access the care they need. need.

They argued that strong political support is needed, at global, national and local levels, to prevent vertical transmission of the virus and provide pediatric and adolescent treatment for people living with HIV in these groups.

They indicated that preventive and therapeutic activities with children under 20 were not a priority in national strategies, plans and budgets.

Underinvestment in targeted or community-based services also hampers access to testing, treatment and follow-up care, especially among the most vulnerable populations, including children and adolescents.

According to UNAIDS, at the end of 2021, US$21.4 billion was spent on the AIDS response in low- and middle-income countries, with around 60% of total resources coming from domestic sources.

The first countries targeted by the new initiative against childhood AIDS are in sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In sub-Saharan Africa, six out of seven new infections among adolescents aged 15-19 are girls, and girls and young women aged 15-24 are twice as likely to be living with HIV as young men.

The activities of the new alliance will aim to provide adequate treatment to all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women and adolescent girls to eliminate mother-to-child transmission, and to prevent and detect new HIV infections among adolescent girls and pregnant women. and breastfeeding.

Similarly, make accessible diagnostic tests and comprehensive care for babies, children and adolescents exposed to the virus or carriers; promote health rights and gender equality, and eliminate social and structural barriers that impede access to services.


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