Prevent new HIV infections & improve access to care and treatment
The scale-up of prevention of mother-to-child transmission, particularly in the past five years, is one of the greatest public health achievements of recent times. Services are increasingly integrated, new ways of delivering those services have been introduced, and antiretroviral regimens to prevent children from acquiring HIV and support maternal health have improved. Still, too many women, children and adolescents are being left behind.
In 2015, an estimated 150,000 children (aged 0–14 years) were newly infected with HIV globally, and nearly 85 per cent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.Half of the 1.8 million children (aged 0–14 years) living with HIV globally did not receive antiretroviral HIV treatment in 2015. For those children able to receive ART, it came too late, at an average age of initiation of 3.8 years in sub-Saharan Africa. Without timely treatment, one third of children with HIV will die by age 1, and half by age 2.
In the First Decade, UNICEF’s programming efforts focus on infants and children under ten years-old, pregnant women, and mothers. Strengthening maternal and child health is at the forefront of efforts to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV (EMTCT). We emphasize expanding access to treatment for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV and improving access to early infant diagnosis and paediatric treatment for children living with HIV.
The Sustainable Development Goals have the ambitious target of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, but in order to do so, children, women and adolescents must be prioritized. Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free puts forth a "super" fast-track response to end the AIDS epidemic among children, women and adolescents by 2020.