Children need more attention

From 2010 to 2020, the number of new cases of HIV infection among children decreased by more than half (54%) due to the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy in pregnant HIV-positive women and HIV-positive women who are breastfeeding. However, this pace has slowed significantly in recent years, leaving particularly large gaps in West and Central Africa, regions that account for more than half of pregnant women living with HIV and not receiving treatment, UNAIDS experts say.

Due to the lack of testing of infants and children at risk of HIV infection, more than two-fifths of children living with HIV were left undiagnosed. The number of children in treatment worldwide has decreased since 2019, and in 2020 about 800,000 children (aged 0 to 14) did not receive antiretroviral therapy. Only 40% of children living with HIV have a depressed viral load, while for adults this figure is 67%. Approximately two-thirds of children who do not receive treatment are between the ages of 5 and 14 - that is, they cannot be tested for HIV during postpartum care visits. The main priorities for the next five years are to expand human rights index testing, to organize family and household testing, and to optimize pediatric treatment to diagnose such children, refer them for treatment, and ensure that they adhere to a long-term treatment regimen.

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