THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

UNICEF calls for support to end adolescent HIV infection

The United Nations Children's Fund released a recent report calling for an acceleration of access to HIV treatment and prevention methods to aid adolescents living with HIV around the world.

The report said that the death rate of adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 due to AIDS has increased by 50 percent between 2005 and 2012, from 71,000 to 110,000. The report, titled 2013 Stocktaking Report on Children and AIDS, said current technology can support an AIDS-free generation, and UNICEF is calling for international partners to help make this a reality.

"If high-impact interventions are scaled up using an integrated approach, we can halve the number of new infections among adolescents by 2020," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said. "It's a matter of reaching the most vulnerable adolescents with effective programs - urgently."

The report estimates that increasing contributions to HIV/AIDS intervention programs to $5.5 billion by 2014 can help protect two million adolescents from contracting HIV by 2020. Intervention programs include condom access, antiretroviral treatment, controlling mother-to-child transmissions and prevention campaigns.

"This report reminds us that an AIDS-free generation is one in which all children are born free of HIV and remain so - from birth and throughout their lives - and it means access to treatment for all children living with HIV," Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS Michel Sidibe said.