For World AIDS Day, UNICEF released their fifth annual stock-taking report looking at the current state of HIV among children and young people. Overall, the number of people getting care and treatment is on the rise, but it’s still not high enough to stop the epidemic. In particular, the epidemic is hitting young women very hard, and children continue to be needlessly born with HIV.  One especially grim statistic: about fifty percent of children living with HIV will die before their second birthday. Some highlights from the report, which presents data from 2009 – the most recent available:

  • About fifty percent of children living with HIV will die before their second birthday.
  • Almost good news – five million young people were living with HIV/AIDS, a decrease from the 5.2 million in 2005.
  • In low and middle income countries, 35% of babies born to mothers with HIV received ARVs at birth. It’s a low percentage but this was nearly double the 2006 number of 18%.
  • Of the estimated 1.27 million children globally who need antiretrovirals, only 28% were receiving them. This is nonetheless an increase over past numbers.
  • Very good news: in most parts of the world, the number of new HIV infections is falling or stabilizing.
  • Worldwide, more than 60 percent of all young people living with HIV are females.
  • Very few households of people living with HIV were getting external support – the number was about 11% in the 25 countries that were surveyed.

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