A Terrible Inheritance
Nearly 30 years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the number of children with HIV continues to grow. Every day more than 1,000 babies are infected through transmission from their mother—during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding.
Without treatment, an estimated 1/2 of HIV-positive infants die before their second birthday.
This doesn't have to happen. When a mother has access to antiretroviral therapy, the chance of HIV transmission is virtually zero.
Prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) is the most effective way to create an HIV-free generation.
UNICEF is working to provide the HIV testing, counseling, medication and support mothers need to protect their children. The success shows; The latest data report:
- Improved access to HIV testing services enabled 61% of pregnant women in eastern and southern Africa to receive testing and counseling for HIV.
- Close to half (48%) of pregnant women in need received effective medicines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in 2010.
But while better services to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV have averted some 350,000 new infections among children, some 3.4 million children are still living with HIV—many of whom lack HIV treatment. There is more work to be done to reach every child and realize an AIDS-free generation.
Related HIV/AIDS Links
March 5, 2013
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and UNICEF welcome a new case study, which found that a baby treated with antiretroviral drugs in the first 30 hours of life and who continued on treatment for 18 months, appeared to be functionally cured. The findings were presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta, Georgia. According to researchers, the mother who was living with HIV at the time of birth had not received antiretroviral medication or prenatal care.
November 28, 2012
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, UNICEF said today. Thanks to remarkable global commitment, the world has seen a 24% reduction in new HIV infections in children—from 430,000 in 2009 to 330,000 in 2011. Approximately 100,000 more children received antiretroviral treatment in 2011 than the previous year. Despite this progress, less than 1/3 of children and pregnant women are receiving the treatment they need.
September 14, 2012
A group of HIV-infected mothers and their partners have formed a mothers’ support group in the United Republic of Tanzania. Members of the group give psychosocial support to one another and help HIV-positive women follow up with their medical check-ups and treatment. The group also provides information to the community about preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The group provides its services through home visit, and it has formed an innovative drama group. Through role play, the drama group encourages HIV testing and counseling.