UNAIDS chief urges greater efforts in ensuring Angolans have access to antiretroviral treatmentListen /
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé has called for greater efforts in reaching all pregnant women living with HIV and ensuring that all babies are born free of HIV in Angola.
His call came during a visit to the Lucrecia Paim Maternity Hospital – one of Angola's model clinics in providing access to antiretroviral therapy for pregnant women living with HIV to prevent the transmission of the virus to their babies.
Mr Sidibé congratulated President José Eduardo dos Santos on his leadership and engagement in the peaceful and economic transformation of Angola and called on him to take on the twin challenges of ensuring all babies are born free of HIV and ensuring all Angolans living with HIV have access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.
Mr Sidibé met jointly with the ministers of Health, Education, Women, Defence, Youth and Sports, and Social Affairs and encouraged a multi-sectorial leadership to rapidly expand Angola's response to HIV. The ministers committed to scaling-up HIV programmes to ensure all babies are born free of HIV and people living with HIV have access to treatment in Angola.
Angola is one of 22 priority countries included in the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive. While data from the Angolan government shows the percentage of pregnant women testing for HIV increased by 55% between 2009 and 2012, Angola is the only priority country where the number of new infections among children increased between 2009 and 2012.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.