WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Progress reported in protecting children from HIV, syphilis in Asia-Pacific area

Making progress in protecting children from HIV and syphilis in Asia-Pacific | Courtesy of sciencedaily.com
Health officials report that the Asia-Pacific region has shown progress in eliminating HIV and syphilis, but there are still countless people who need to be protected from HIV and syphilis, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Monday.

This issue will be an important point of discussion at the 10th Asia-Pacific United Nations Elimination of Parent-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis Task Force meeting this week in Beijing, China.

Many senior government experts and representatives will discuss the best ways to stop the spread of parent-to-child transmission of HIV as well as syphilis. Some of these strategies include strengthened adherence to HIV treatments and heightened detection rates.

Between 2000 and 2014, there has been a decrease of one third in children who have new HIV infections. More women with HIV have received treatments than in previous years. From 2010 to 2014, the ratio of pregnant women with HIV infections and treatment programs has more than doubled.

“Every single pregnant woman deserves access to HIV and syphilis testing and treatment,” World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shin Young-soo said. “Only strong government leadership, dedication and commitment will guarantee both healthy mothers and children are born free of HIV and syphilis.”

Unfortunately there are some countries that still show a rise in HIV infection rates.

“No parent or child can be left behind as we push to eliminate HIV and syphilis once and for all,” UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Toole said. “We must all ensure that even the hardest to reach children and families have access to effective testing and treatment.”

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