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UNICEF projections on children and AIDS

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Update: 4:18PM ONE hundred and twenty thousand children under the age of 14 died of AIDS related causes in 2016 and 18 children were infected with HIV every single hour around the world.

According to projections from the 2017 United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) statistical update on children and AIDS released today, if current trends persisted, there would be 3.5 million new adolescent HIV infections by 2030. 

"It is unacceptable that we continue to see so many children dying from AIDS and so little progress made to protect adolescents from new HIV infections," said Chief of HIV for UNICEF Dr Chewe Luo.

"The AIDS epidemic is not over; it remains a threat to the lives of children and young people and more can and should be done to prevent it."

UNICEF Pacific Representative Sheldon Yett said ensuring all parents with HIV are provided with information on preventing transmission of the virus to children is the most effective way to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keeping their parents alive.

"Ensuring that no baby is born with HIV is a key step towards achieving an AIDS-free generation," he said.

"UNICEF supports governments in the Pacific to help mothers and fathers safeguard their babies against the virus by providing HIV testing equipment and supplies, as well as counseling and psychological support."

In the Pacific, UNICEF supported 13 Pacific Island Countries to prepare the Global Aids Response Progress Reporting (GARPR) and to use data to generate resources for HIV prevention, treatment and care.

UNICEF also works in Fiji and Vanuatu to support women of child bearing age to access HIV testing and treatment, reducing the risk of parent to child transmission. Health care providers also act as HIV counselors to women and adolescent girls.

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