UNICEF Report Reveals ‘One Child or Teenager’ Was Infected with HIV Every 100 Seconds in 2019

Almost once every minute and 40 seconds, a child or young person under the age of 20 was infected with HIV in 2019, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said on November 25. In a new report, the United Nations agency revealed that some 320,000 children and adolescents were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year. In addition, a total of 110,000 children died of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the report added.

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Although a number of countries including Brazil, Thailand and Tanzania are providing free HIV treatment, it still remains the lowest among the worst affected nations. The UNICEF report, entitled Reinventing a resilient response to HIV for children, TOpain and pregnant women living with HIV, he warned that children are being left behind in the battle against HIV / AIDS. According to the report, just under half of the world’s children have not had access to treatment.

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“Children continue to be infected at alarming rates and are still dying of AIDS. This happened even before COVID-19 disrupted vital HIV treatment and prevention services, putting countless more lives at risk,” said the UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in a statement.

Disruptions of HIV and COVID-19

According to the report, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has worsened inequalities in cases of life-saving HIV treatment for children, adolescents and pregnant mothers everywhere. “In a recent UNICEF survey of 29 HIV priority countries, a third responded that coverage of services for children, adolescents and women living together and vulnerable to HIV is 10% or more lower than the numbers. pre-pandemics “.

Regional disparities

The report also states that there were regional disparities in access to HIV treatment. While pediatric coverage of antiretroviral treatment was highest in the Middle East and North Africa -81%, it was lowest in West and Central Africa -32%. In South Asia it was 76%, while in East Asia and the Pacific it was 50%. In East Africa and South Africa it was 58% and in Latin America and the Caribbean it was 46%.

Read: UNICEF: HIV and AIDS treatment halted by COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric services concerned

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Representative Image: Pixabey


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