A UN report released today shows significant progress in treating children with AIDS and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but not without a call for greater efforts.
In 2005, only 11 percent of women were getting drugs to prevent transmission. Thanks to UNICEF’s Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS initiative, 31 percent are now getting treatment. There’s also been a 70 percent increase in children who are receiving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to 127,000 per year. “That’s enormous progress,” says UNICEF Chief of HIV and AIDS Jimmy Kolker.
But obviously more efforts are needed. The report identifies improvements and challenges in four key areas: preventing HIV transmission from mothers to children (PMTCT); providing paediatric treatment, preventing infection among adolescents and young people; and protecting and supporting children affected by AIDS.
The report also addresses how various gender injustices call for women’s rights efforts to be embedded within the work being done to decrease the occurrence of PMTCT. Examples include how domestic violence is often a huge barrier to routine testing programs, or the ways that cultural stigmatization prevents many women from seeking PMTCT services. All are addressed in the report, as well as new working strategies to further the progress already made.
Make sure to check out the full report.