Sumary of Africa: Ending HIV in Children Is Way Off Target – Where to Focus Action Now:
- World leaders have recently, under the auspices of the United Nations, renewed their commitment to ending AIDS..
- The adopted political declaration and its recommendations offer strategies for ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV and paediatric AIDS..
- The commitments include an interim target of suppressing the viral loads of 75% of all children living with HIV by 2023..
- These include early infant diagnosis at the point of care, family testing and self-testing to find older children and adolescents who are not on treatment..
- Failure to achieve these targets for children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, home to 90% of the children living with HIV, means that new infections will continue to increase and HIV related mortality will be a reality for decades to come..
- The June 2021 United Nations high level meeting was an opportunity to get the paediatric HIV response on track..
- In line with the 2021 political declaration, we emphasise that national governments should review their national strategies and commit resources to three key paediatric HIV issues..
- Of equal concern, antiretroviral therapy coverage for pregnant women living with HIV is considerably lower in western and central African countries such as Nigeria and Angola (below 50%) than in southern Africa….