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110,000 children, adolescents died from AIDS-related causes last year: UNICEF

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Nov 29, 2022 - 06:18 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AA) – The United Nations Children’s agency, UNICEF, said Monday that around 110,000 children and adolescents aged 0 and 19 died from AIDS-related causes last year.

Ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, UNICEF released its latest global snapshot on children and HIV/AIDS.

Another 310,000 were newly infected, bringing the total number of young people living with HIV to 2.7 million, according to UNICEF.

Progress on HIV prevention and treatment for children, adolescents, and pregnant women has nearly flatlined over the past three years, it said.

“Though children have long lagged behind adults in the AIDS response, the stagnation seen in the last three years is unprecedented, putting too many young lives at risk of sickness and death,” said UNICEF Associate Chief of HIV/AIDS Anurita Bains.

“Children are falling through the cracks because we are collectively failing to find and test them and get them on life-saving treatment. Every day that goes by without progress, over 300 children and adolescents lose their fight against AIDS.”

UNICEF warned that unless the drivers of inequities are addressed, ending AIDS in children and adolescents will continue to be a distant dream.

However, longer-term trends remain positive and new HIV infections among younger children aged 0 and 14 dropped by 52% from 2010 to 2021.

New infections among adolescents aged 15 and 19 also dropped by 40%.

While the total number of children living with HIV is on the decline, the treatment gap between children and adults continues to grow, said UNICEF.

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