Ending HIV in children is way off target


Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported that the world has missed several targets for tackling AIDS in 2020 — putting in jeopardy the goal of ending new AIDS infections by 2030. According to the latest UNAids report, in 2020 there were 1.5 million new HIV infections, far exceeding the 500,000 cases that had been projected. One major reason for missed targets is the COVID-19 pandemic, — straining health systems worldwide and forcing lockdowns that restrict people from accessing the HIV testing and treatments they need. A group that is especially in need of care during the pandemic are children with HIV.

Sadly, the world is still far from meeting treatment targets for children living with HIV. In 2020, the goal for HIV treatment coverage for children was 95%, but only 53% of children were receiving treatment by the end of 2019.

Hesperian’s ground-breaking resource, Helping Children Live with HIV, was carefully developed to help parents, family members and health workers support and care for this vulnerable group in home settings and through community-based health programs. This book offers a holistic approach by building on the existing knowledge of parents and caregivers and identifying and reinforcing local resources. It integrates health care, illness prevention, and psychosocial support for children and families coping with poverty, food insecurity, emotional trauma, and loss, as well as stigma and discrimination.