Update

Renewing efforts to eliminate new HIV infections among children

20 May 2014

Despite the significant decline in new HIV infections among children since the launch in 2011 of the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan), there is a need for a renewed sense of urgency to reach the Global Plan targets.

This was the main outcome of the second ministerial progress review meeting of the Global Plan convened by UNAIDS and PEPFAR as a side event during the sixty-seventh World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 19 to 24 May.

The meeting brought together key partners working in the areas of HIV prevention, maternal health and child survival, including civil society representatives, donors and 16 ministerial delegations of the most affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Plan aims to ensure that less than 5% of children born to women living with HIV become infected with the virus. This would represent a reduction of new HIV infections among children by 90% compared with 2009. Participants stressed the need to thoroughly and simultaneously pursue all four components of the internationally agreed strategy to achieve such a dramatic reduction in mother-to-child-transmission of HIV. These include, first of all, the prevention of HIV among women of childbearing age as well as the prevention of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV. Furthermore, all HIV-positive pregnant women need access to the most effective antiretroviral medicines to prevent HIV transmission. Once the child is born, the mother and the infant as well as their families need to receive appropriate HIV treatment, care and support.

Quotes

"With high-level political leadership, country ownership and nationwide community engagement many countries will be able to achieve the elimination goal. If we manage to boost service delivery in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique we will be able to reach the global targets."

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Quotes

"If the most affected countries double the rate of scale up of comprehensive services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, the goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 can be achieved. We must join forces to make sure this happens."

Deborah Birx, US Global AIDS Coordinator