A Terrible Inheritance

Nearly 30 years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the number of children with HIV continues to grow.

Without treatment, an estimated one-third of infants living with HIV will die before their first birthday, and half will die before their second birthday.

This doesn't have to happen. When a mother has access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), the chance of HIV transmission is virtually zero.

Prevention of mother-to-child-transmission: the most effective way to create an HIV-free generation

UNICEF provides the HIV testing, counseling, medication and support mothers need to protect their children. With UNICEF's help, access to ART to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus has reached a high of 85 percent — an increase of 70 percentage points since 2010 — averting millions of new infections. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has threatened to reverse these gains. UNICEF is calling on governments to scale up their commitments to broaden access to maternal HIV testing and timely initiation of ART, among other critical prevention measures.

UNICEF won't stop until every child is protected from HIV/AIDS.