Statistical Update on HIV and AIDS among Children and Adolescents

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                          STATISTICAL UPDATE HUB

 At the turn of the century, and the beginning of the Millennium Development Goals, an HIV diagnosis was equivalent to a death sentence for most children and their families in low-income countries. But now, an early diagnosis paired with treatment and care can ensure long healthy lives, regardless of location, and can help prevent transmission of HIV to others.

Since 2000, thirty million new infections were prevented, nearly eight million deaths averted, and fifteen million people living with HIV are now receiving treatment.

The lives of mothers and children have been saved

Today a majority of pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries are receiving treatment to remain healthy and to prevent HIV transmission to their babies – averting 1.3 million new infections among children since 2000. As impressive as progress has been, it is not universal. Twenty-five children (0–14 years old) still acquire HIV every hour.

Children are becoming adolescents without the testing, treatment and care they need

AIDS is the leading cause of death for adolescents (10–19) in Africa, and the second globally. The majority of these deaths are among adolescents who acquired HIV as babies and survived to their teenage years, either without knowing their HIV status or having slipped out of care.

Prevention can be life-saving

The majority of adolescents – especially those most at risk of new infection, including girls, young men who have sex with men, those who are transgender, inject drugs or are sexually exploited – lack access to proven prevention interventions.

We have never been better equipped, but we must improve

With each passing year, science provides us with new tools, and experience on the ground informs our approach, making ending AIDS by 2030 a real possibility. By reflecting, we gain clarity. By innovating, we improve results.

Now we enter the era of the Sustainable Development Goals – a springboard to ending AIDS. With simplified, more efficient and cost-effective methods, many of the hurdles are behind us. Frontloading investments – both domestic and international – into proven interventions is needed if we are to achieve an AIDS-free generation for children and adolescents.

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