Introduction to HIV and Children
About 700 children are newly infected with HIV every day, and of these more than half will die as a result of AIDS because of a lack of access to HIV treatment. In addition, millions more children every year are indirectly affected by the epidemic as a result of the death and suffering caused in their families and communities.
Preventing HIV infection, providing life prolonging treatment and relieving the impact of HIV and AIDS for children and their families and communities is possible. However, a lack of necessary investment and resources for adequate testing, antiretroviral drugs, and prevention programmes, as well as stigma and discrimination, mean children continue to suffer the consequences of the epidemic.
The number of infected children
The figures below show the number of children (defined by UNAIDS as under-15s) directly affected by HIV and AIDS:
- At the end of 2013, there were 3.2 million children living with HIV around the world.
- An estimated 240,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2013.
- Of the 1.5 million people who died of AIDS during 2013, one in seven were children.
Mother to Child Transmission
Nine out of ten children infected with HIV were infected through their mother either during pregnancy, labour and delivery or breastfeeding. Without treatment, around 15-30 percent of babies born to HIV positive women will become infected with HIV during pregnancy and delivery and a further 5-20 percent will become infected through breastfeeding.
HIV treatment for children
HIV treatment for children slows the progress of HIV infection and allows infected children to live much longer, healthier lives. Yet, almost three-quarters of the children who could be benefiting from this therapy in low and middle-income countries are not receiving it.
Above information from an article titled Children, HIV and Aids at Avert.org. See complete article at: www.avert.org/children.htm