Launch of a new global alliance to end childhood AIDS by 2030

Globally, only half (52%) of children living with HIV receive life-saving treatment. UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO have united a new alliance to address one of the most glaring disparities in the AIDS response.

Globally, only half (52%) of children living with HIV receive life-saving treatment, far behind adults where three quarters (76%) receive antiretrovirals, according to data just published in UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2022 Concerned about slowing progress for children and the widening gap between children and adults, UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO and partners have assembled a global alliance to ensure that ‘no child living with HIV is denied treatment by the end of the decade and prevents new childhood HIV infections.

The new Global Alliance to End Childhood AIDS by 2030 was announced by leading figures at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada.

In addition to UN agencies, the alliance includes civil society movements, including the Global Network of People Living with HIV, national governments of countries most affected, and international partners including PEPFAR and the Global Fund. Twelve countries joined the alliance in the first phase: Angola, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, l Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Consultations conducted by the alliance identified four pillars for collective action:

  1. close the treatment gap for adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women living with HIV and optimize treatment continuity;

  2. preventing and detecting new HIV infections among adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women;

  3. accessible testing, optimized treatment and comprehensive care for infants, children and adolescents exposed to and living with HIV; and 4. addressing rights, gender equality, and social and structural barriers that impede access to services.

Addressing the International AIDS Conference, Limpho Nteko from Lesotho told how she found out she was HIV-positive at 21 when she was pregnant with her first child. This led her on a journey where she now works for the pioneering women-led mothers-to-mothers program. Enabling community leadership, she stressed, is key to an effective response.

“We must all run together to end childhood AIDS by 2030,” Ms Nteko said. “To succeed, we need a generation of healthy, informed young people who feel free to talk about HIV and get the services and support they need to protect themselves and their children from HIV. mothers2mothers has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV for our enrolled clients for eight consecutive years, showing what is possible when we let women and communities create solutions tailored to their realities.

The alliance will continue for the next eight years to 2030, aiming to address one of the most glaring disparities in the AIDS response. Alliance members are united in the assessment that the challenge can be overcome through partnership.

“The wide gap in treatment coverage between children and adults is outrageous,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “Through this alliance, we will turn that outrage into action. By bringing together new and better medicines, new political commitment and determined community activism, we can be the generation that will end childhood AIDS. We can win this, but we can only win together.

“Despite progress in reducing vertical transmission, increasing testing and treatment, and expanding access to information, children around the world are still far less likely than adults to access prevention, HIV care and treatment,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. . “The launch of the Global Alliance to End Childhood AIDS is an important step forward – and UNICEF is committed to working alongside all our partners to achieve an AIDS-free future.

“No child should be born or grow up with HIV, and no HIV-positive child should go untreated,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “The fact that only half of HIV-positive children receive antiretrovirals is an outrage and a stain on our collective conscience. The Global Alliance to End Childhood AIDS is an opportunity to renew our commitment to children and their families to unite, speak and act with determination and in solidarity with all mothers, children and teenagers.

Dr Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, has pledged to “change the lives of children left behind” by putting in place the systems needed to ensure that health services meet the needs of children living with HIV .

Nigeria, Dr Ehanire announced, will host the political launch of the alliance in Africa at a ministerial meeting in October 2022.

About UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations – UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the Bank – and works closely with global and national partners to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.

About who

Dedicated to the well-being of all and guided by science, the World Health Organization leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance to live safe and healthy lives. We are the UN health agency that connects nations, partners and people on the front lines in more than 150 places – leading the global response to health emergencies, preventing disease, tackling the root causes of problems health and expanding access to medicines and health care. Our mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. For more information, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube and Twitch.

Media Contacts

Sonali Reddy
Communications Officer
WHO
Mobile: +41 79 509 0647
Email: [email protected]

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