(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest provider of HIV/AIDS care globally, praised the commitment by African nations to eliminate AIDS in children by 2030. In a meeting convened by the United Republic of Tanzania, Ministers and representatives of twelve African countries collectively backed the Dar es Salaam Declaration on ending AIDS in children by laying out a concrete stratagem anchored on four pillars, including early screening and treatment for newborns and children, expanding treatment access for pregnant women living with HIV, preventing new infections among pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls, and removing gender, rights-based and socio-structural barriers that impede access to services for many.
"We welcome this reinvigoration to strengthen Africa’s paediatric HIV/AIDS response, which has waned over the years and yet is an essential component for achieving global AIDS control," said Dr Penninah Iutung, AHF Africa Bureau Chief. "For a continent with the highest population of young people in the world, safeguarding its future also requires putting the right systems, tools and actions in place to ensure that every child is born HIV-free and children and adolescents living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatment and care."
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), every five minutes, a child dies from AIDS-related causes, and only half of the children living with HIV are receiving antiretrovirals. Additionally, in 2021, children accounted for 15% of all AIDS-related deaths despite making up only 4% of people living with HIV globally, and 160,000 became newly infected with HIV.
"We look forward to supporting the governments and relevant UN agencies' efforts in making this commitment a reality given our presence in seven of these 12 countries. We also hope to hold these leaders accountable in the future," added Dr Iutung.
The declaration forms part of the UNAIDS-led Global Alliance to End AIDS in children by 2030, with the first batch of members drawn from twelve high HIV burden countries, namely Angola, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
AHF supports HIV/AIDS response for young people through various approaches. One of them is its popular Girls Act program, an initiative that empowers young women and girls with information and services on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, menstrual hygiene management, school scholarships, and psychosocial support for better health outcomes.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.7 million people in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.
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AFRICA BUREAU CONTACT
Oluwakemi Gbadamosi, Director Advocacy, Policy & Marketing, AHF Africa
US MEDIA CONTACT:
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications , AHF
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Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy & Communication, AHF