Manila Bulletin

Global effort to fight AIDS far from over – UNICEF


JOHANNESBU­RG (PNA/Xinhua) – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a report on Thursday in Johannesbu­rg showing that progress has been made globally in fighting HIV but more still needs to be done.

According to the report, 1.6 million new infections globally among children were averted between the years 2000 and 2015 by reducing mother to child transmissi­on.

The report also noted that progress has been made in the fight against HIV despite reduction in funding for the AIDS response which has declined since 2014.

In 2015, about 2 million adolescent­s aged 10–19 were living with HIV in the whole world. In sub-Saharan Africa, three in four infections in 15–19 years old are girls.

Jeffrey O’Malley, Director of Data and Policy of UNICEF said a package which addresses tuberculos­is, HIV and other disease should be adopted to fight the pandemic.

“Urgent action is needed to improve HIV prevention and treatment for young people. New HIV infections among adolescent­s are projected to rise by nearly 60 percent by 2030 if progress stalls,” he added.

UNICEF also called for an end to gender discrimina­tion including gender-based violence and countering stigma. The report indicated that if strong measures are not adopted, new HIV infection among the adolescenc­e will rise from 250,000 in 2015 to about 400,000 annually.

According to the UNICEF report, 1.1 million children, adolescent­s and women were newly infected in 2015. The report also said children aged four are at greater risk of death because they are diagnosed and treated late.

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