Kenya is among the twelve African countries that joined the new global alliance in its first phase of seeking to end HIV/AIDS in children by 2030.
According to the UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2022 reports, only fifty-two percent of children living with HIV/AIDS in the world are under life-saving treatment. Contrarily, seventy-six percent of adults living with HIV/AIDS are on ARVs.
These results prompted global agencies and bodies to seek solutions to reduce the gap between the fight against HIV/AIDS in children and that in adults. Therefore, champions of this new intervention publicized its creation on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at an International AIDS Conference conclusion in Montreal, Canada.
The agencies and organizations forming part include UNICEF, UNAIDS, World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Network for People Living with HIV, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
This new global alliance seeks to stop new infant HIV/AIDS infections. It will also work to ensure that all children that contracted HIV have access to treatment.
The twelve African countries are Angola, Cameroon, Cote D’ Ivoire, DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
During the conference, UNAIDS stated that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic slackened the progress in the fight against HIV. For instance, key donors pulled back, leading to a decline in the rate of HIV testing and ARV distribution.
After consultations, the new alliance came up with four pillars for this course. These include closing the treatment gap for pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls and women living with HIV/AIDS and optimizing continuity of treatment and preventing and detecting new HIV/AIDS infections among pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls and women.
Others include providing accessible testing, optimized treatment, and comprehensive care for infants, children, and adolescents exposed to and living with HIV and addressing rights, gender equality, and the social and structural barriers that hinder access to services.
The UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, spoke of how wanting the extensive gap in treatment coverage between adults and children is.
She stated that the new alliance will eliminate new AIDS infections in children and care for those living with HIV/AIDS. By channeling it into action, they will introduce new and improved medicines, new political commitment, plus the determined activism of communities. Together, they will work to ensure that this is the last generation of HIV/AIDS in children.