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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

WECA left behind in global HIV response - UNICEF

After over four decades into the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic, four in five children living with HIV in West and Central Africa are still not receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy, NaijaAgroNet reports.
This is coming as AIDS-related deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 are on the rise, according to a new report released Tuesday by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

NaijaAgroNet also reports that while acknowledging progress in several areas, the report Step Up the Pace: Towards an AIDS-free generation in West and Central Africa, jointly published by UNICEF and UNAIDS, shows that West and Central Africa is lagging behind on nearly every measure of HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes for children and adolescents. In 2016, an estimated 60,000 children were newly infected with HIV in West and Central Africa.

Disclosing this to NaijaAgroNet, UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Director, Marie-Pierre Poirier, described as tragic that so many children and adolescents today are not receiving the treatment they need just because they have not been tested.

“We need to make better use of innovations to increase early diagnosis and improve access to HIV treatment and care for children. For example, the point-of-care technology diagnostic brings testing closer to where children attend health services and self-testing can be a good option for adolescents who may be more comfortable with it,” Poirier said.

The region’s coverage of life-saving antiretroviral therapy among children living with HIV, Poirier said, is the lowest in the world because many countries have limited capacity to perform the tests needed for early infant diagnosis of HIV. Without knowing a child’s HIV status, his or her family is less likely to seek the treatment that could prevent the tragedy of a child’s death from AIDS-related illnesses.

The situation is worse among adolescents. The annual number of new HIV infections among those aged 15–19 years in the region now exceeds that of children aged 0-14 years. These new infections occur mostly through unprotected sexual contact and among adolescent girls. Equally concerning, according to the report, is that West and Central Africa has recorded a 35 per cent increase in the annual number of AIDS-related deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 years — the only age group in which the number of AIDS-related deaths increased between 2010 and 2016.

With the region’s youth population expected to grow significantly within the coming decades, especially in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, the numbers of children and adolescents becoming infected with HIV and dying from AIDS is likely to remain high, unless the HIV response – both prevention and treatment – improves dramatically.

The report highlights that the 24 countries that make up the West and Central Africa region are home to 25 per cent of children aged 0–14 years living with HIV worldwide.

“Leaders of the region have endorsed a Catch-Up plan aiming to triple the number of people on treatment in the region – including children – by the end of 2018, the key issue now is to accelerate implementation,” said Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director. 

“Countries should urgently put in place more effective strategies for early infant diagnosis of HIV, and start reducing inequity in children’s access to treatment.”

The report proposes key strategies that will enable countries to accelerate progress in curbing the spread of disease. These include:
1.    A differentiated HIV response focusing on unique epidemiological and local contexts in each country and community.
2.    The integration of HIV services into key social services including health, education and protection.
3.    Community ownership and local governance of the HIV response including working with families, better placed to help reduce stigma, access prevention and treatment.
4.    Investment in innovations to remove barriers to scale-up including new diagnostic and biomedical approaches such as point of care diagnostics, HIV self-testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis.


UNICEF announced last week that at the current pace of progress, the global 2020 Super-Fast-Track targets to end AIDS among children will not be achieved.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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3 comments:


  1. I just got diagnosed with Hiv., and reading this actually made me feel like crawling and crying like a baby. The outbreak I have right now is genital and in my throat and mouth, I talked to the doctor who did the blood test on me and said over time that it would eventually get much better. She said that what I’m having is a massive outbreak and is unusual, but that it may be due to the fact that I stressed myself out over it so much. She also told me even though I have it in the genital area that It doesn't mean that I needed “private to private” contact to acquire it. But this did make me feel a whole lot better about the whole situation. For anyone else to has Hiv. after all this stress and pains am passing and the doctor saying all such of crap i was not convince by his Theory so i decided to go on the internet and saw this comments by Rose who testify about how she get cured by root and herbs by Dr lucky, when i first bump into it i didn't believe the comments at first so i decided to confront her on Facebook and really know what and how did it work because my doctor told me there is no cure for herpes, so i really contacted Dr lucky at : homeofnaturalremedy@gmail.com. or call +2349050606649

    ReplyDelete

  2. I just got diagnosed with Hiv., and reading this actually made me feel like crawling and crying like a baby. The outbreak I have right now is genital and in my throat and mouth, I talked to the doctor who did the blood test on me and said over time that it would eventually get much better. She said that what I’m having is a massive outbreak and is unusual, but that it may be due to the fact that I stressed myself out over it so much. She also told me even though I have it in the genital area that It doesn't mean that I needed “private to private” contact to acquire it. But this did make me feel a whole lot better about the whole situation. For anyone else to has Hiv. after all this stress and pains am passing and the doctor saying all such of crap i was not convince by his Theory so i decided to go on the internet and saw this comments by Rose who testify about how she get cured by root and herbs by Dr lucky, when i first bump into it i didn't believe the comments at first so i decided to confront her on Facebook and really know what and how did it work because my doctor told me there is no cure for herpes, so i really contacted Dr lucky at : homeofnaturalremedy@gmail.com. or call +2349050606649

    ....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dr. Osagie God will continue to bless you more abundantly, for the good works you are doing in peoples life, I will keep on writng and posting testimonies about you on the Internet, I’m John Homles , I was a HIV patient, I saw a blog on how Dr. Osagie cured someone, I contacted him and also got my healing, kindly email him now on (drosagiesolutiontemple@gmail.com OR
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