New global alliance created to end AIDS in children by 2030

A new Global Alliance for Ending AIDS in Children by 2030 was announced Monday here at the 24th International AIDS Conference to ensure that no child living with HIV is denied treatment by the end of the decade and to prevent new infant HIV infections.

The alliance is made up of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), civil society groups, governments, and international partners. Twelve countries have joined the alliance in the first phase.

“No child should be born with or grow up with HIV, and no child with HIV should go without treatment,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children is an opportunity to renew our commitment to children and their families to unite, to speak and to act with purpose and in solidarity with all mothers, children and adolescents.”

A UNAIDS report showed that globally only 52 percent of children living with HIV are on life-saving treatment, far behind adults where 76 percent are receiving antiretrovirals.

“The wide gap in treatment coverage between children and adults is an outrage,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “Through this alliance, we will channel that outrage into action. By bringing together new improved medicines, new political commitment, and the determined activism of communities, we can be the generation who end AIDS in children. We can win this — but we can only win together.”

The five-day conference taking place in the Canadian city of Montreal will end on Tuesday. ■

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