India has highest number of HIV positive children and adolescents in South Asia: report
An estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia, according to a UNICEF report which warned that around 80 adolescents will die. of AIDS every day in the world by 2030 if progress in preventing transmission is not accelerated.
The report notes that South Asia has made substantial progress in reducing HIV risk and vulnerability among children, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers.
In India, an estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 019 were living with HIV in 2017. In Pakistan, that number was 5,800, followed by Nepal (1,600) and Bangladesh (less than 1,000), according to the report. the UNICEF report released Thursday ‘Children, HIV and AIDS: The world in 2030.’
In 2017, the estimated number of children under 5 newly diagnosed with HIV was 43% lower than the comparable 2010 estimate, a drop above the 35% recorded worldwide.
The estimated share of 014-year-olds living with HIV who started life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 73% in 2017, an increase of almost 50 percentage points from 2010.
The report warned, however, that by 2030, around 80 adolescents will die of AIDS every day if “we do not accelerate progress in preventing transmission.”
The report says current trends indicate AIDS-related deaths and new infections are slowing, but the downward trajectory is not happening fast enough.
“The report clearly shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that the world is on the right track when it comes to ending AIDS in children and adolescents by 2030,” said the chief from UNICEF Henrietta Fore.
More than half of children known to die from AIDS will not reach the age of five, the report reveals. Infection prevention and treatment efforts, Fore noted, still miss the mark, especially when it comes to mother-to-baby transmission of HIV. Programs to treat the virus and prevent it from spreading to older children are nowhere near where they should be.
The number of mother-to-child infections has fallen by around 40 percent over the past eight years, but girls still account for two-thirds of all HIV infections among adolescents, and infection rates among children the older are the slowest to decline, according to current data.
In addition, the report cites a global target of reducing the number of children infected with HIV by 2030 to 1.4 million, while today’s forecast of 1.9 million shows the world is lagging behind. of about 500,000.
Currently, three million people aged 19 and under are infected with HIV worldwide. Two million new infections could be prevented by 2030, if global goals are met, this means providing adequate access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services, as well as testing and diagnostics.
The main gaps show slow progress in prevention among young people and an inability to tackle the main drivers of the epidemic. Many infected children and adolescents are unaware of their illness and, even when tested positive, rarely adhere to appropriate treatment.
UNICEF’s vision for an AIDS-free generation involves scaling up family-centered testing to help identify children living with HIV who have not been diagnosed, and greater use of digital platforms to improve performance. education in HIV and AIDS contraction and prevention.