More pregnant women and children must get treatment: UNICEFListen /
New HIV infections in children are down, but reaching the goal of an AIDS-free generation requires treating more pregnant women and children living with HIV, according to the United Nations Children's Fund(UNICEF).
The children's agency says thanks to remarkable global commitment, the world has seen a 24 per cent reduction in new HIV infections in children – from 430,000 in 2009 to 330,000 in 2011.
And, as of December 2011, over 100,000 more children were receiving antiretroviral treatment compared to 2010.
But it says that less than one-third of children and pregnant women are receiving the treatment they need, as opposed to the global average of 54 per cent for adults overall.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake says "It is simply wrong that adults are twice as likely as children to receive the treatment they need," adding that "By definition, an AIDS-free generation depends on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable from HIV infection". He says "we must do still more to help mothers and children who live with HIV be able to live free from AIDS".
Mr. Lake urged all to rededicate themselves "to boosting the number of pregnant women and children being tested and treated through basic antenatal and child health programmes."
Donn Bobb, United Nations