The commitment by 12 African nations to eradicate AIDS in children by 2030 was announced on Wednesday during a meeting in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and has been warmly received by UN agencies.
The Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children’s first ministerial summit signaled a step up in efforts to guarantee that all boys and girls with HIV may obtain life-saving treatment and that HIV-positive mothers can have kids free of the infection.
Plans were outlined by ministers and delegates, and they included discovering and providing care for newborns and children living with HIV as well as testing more pregnant mothers and connecting them to care.
International partners outlined how they would help them achieve these goals.
Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS, the UN organization spearheading the global effort to eradicate the illness, stated of the summit, “This meeting has given me hope.” “The discrimination against children living with HIV is an injustice that hurts my heart, and leaders today have outlined their commitment to the steadfast action required to correct it.”
Every five minutes, a kid dies globally from an AIDS-related cause.
While 76% of adults are taking antiretrovirals, only 52% of children with HIV are receiving life-saving medication, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has called “one of the most striking gaps in the AIDS response.”
In addition, children account for 15% of all AIDS-related deaths despite making up only 4% of people living with HIV. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) praised the leaders’ pledges and vowed to assist them wholeheartedly.
Anurita Bains, associate director of UNICEF, said, “We cannot let children continue to be left behind in the global response to HIV and AIDS. Every kid has the right to a healthy and optimistic future.”
At the AIDS conference held in Montréal, Canada, in July 2022, the Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children was announced. The Dar-es-Salaam Declaration for Action to End AIDS in Children, the product of its initial ministerial conference, received unanimous support.
Vice-President of Tanzania Philip Mpango urged the nation to advance together.
To stop AIDS in children, “all of us must have a part to play in our capacities,” he stated. “The Global Alliance is moving in the right direction, but we cannot become comfortable. The year 2030 is almost here.
One of the 12 nations with a high HIV prevalence that have joined the Alliance in the initial phase is Tanzania. The remaining countries are Zimbabwe, Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.
Having less than 500 new HIV infections among newborns per 100,000 births, Botswana became the first African nation with a high HIV prevalence to be recognized as being on the way to ending vertical transmission of HIV last year.