The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) announced on Tuesday that it has reached 20 million women around the worlds in its efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Pediatric HIV infections worldwide have recently dropped by half. Efforts by EGPAF to provide testing, counseling and treatment to women helped reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission.
"What seemed impossible only a few years ago is now within our grasp," EGPAF President and CEO Charles Lyons said. "We could never have reached 20 million women without support from our global partners and the dedication of health workers around the world. Only together can we get the number of new HIV infections to zero. Our work will continue until no child has AIDS."
EGPAF provided support to eight countries that have seen a reduction of pediatric HIV infection by at least 30 percent since 2009. Those countries are Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
"I am living proof that an HIV-positive woman can have an HIV-negative baby," EGPAF Ambassador Fortunata Kasege said. "My daughter, Florida, was born HIV-negative and today I am pregnant with my second daughter, who will also be born HIV-free. EGPAF has given millions of women worldwide the opportunity to access lifesaving HIV testing, treatment, and prevention services."
Approximately 700 children become infected with HIV every day, with more than 90 percent of infections occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.