“The existing HIV response is failing to meet the needs of children”

“The existing HIV response is failing to meet the needs of children”
“The existing HIV response is failing to meet the needs of children”

Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) released a new report: In Danger, ahead of the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada last week and among others states that the existing HIV response is failing to meet the needs of children.
This is according to a press release by Elizabeth Glazer Paediatric Foundation (EGPAF) Lesotho. The presser states that: One of the most inequalities in the HIV response is the failure to achieve HIV and TB targets, especially those related to children and adolescents.

Despite the Lesotho’s achievement of the 90-90-90 targets in HIV response, the country is still behind on meeting HIV and TB targets among Children & Adolescents. Thus, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Priority Charter shall commence advocacy journey to achieve equality in HIV and TB response in the country.

It shall further guide the CSOs to ensure Lesotho closes the gaps between paediatric HIV targets and achievements in the HIV and TB response leaving no Child and Adolescents behind. Hence, Lesotho shall reach and provide access of HIV and TB care, treatment and prevention to all inclusive of Children and Adolescents.

EGPAF CEO and President, Chip Lyons said “Today’s report is a chilling indicator of the damning inequities facing children in the fight for an AIDS-free generation and speaks to the focused efforts still needed to end HIV and AIDS in children globally.
“Approximately 160,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2021 – an unconscionable rate equivalent to 430 new paediatric infections daily. Nearly 85% of these new vertical infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

The data also shows that while children make up 4% of all people living with HIV in 2021, they accounted for 15% of all AIDS-related deaths globally. As the report states, “we can do better at preventing and treating HIV in children.

” To end HIV in children, we must ensure mothers and pregnant women living with HIV can safely and regularly access HIV care services.

According to the report, almost half of all new HIV infections in children are due to HIV-positive mothers not receiving access to HIV testing services and antiretroviral therapy (ART), and yet, ART coverage for pregnant women living with HIV has not meaningfully improved since 2014.

Engaging pregnant women in care is a foundational first step to decrease the likelihood of transmitting HIV to their babies, while also protecting their own health.

“Simply put, the existing HIV response is failing to meet the needs of children.

Globally, only 52% of children who become infected with HIV are accessing HIV treatment services whereas the same treatment coverage for adults is at 76%, a gap that has continued to grow.
“This is flat out unacceptable and a far cry from the 95-95-95 target goals,” said Lyons.

“We have the best paediatric diagnostic and treatment tools we have ever had in our fight against HIV. Now, we must deploy them to reduce the growing number of new paediatric HIV infections and, by doing so, close the gaps between adults and children.

” According to Lyons, “it is incumbent upon the global health community to step up to this achievable challenge and save the lives of kids impacted by HIV and AIDS.

If we are to truly guarantee an AIDS-free generation, the global AIDS response must be laser focused on addressing these unacceptable inequities by taking deliberate action that prioritizes the life of every child at risk for or living with HIV.”

For More News And Analysis About Lesotho Follow Africa-Press


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here