JOHANNESBURG, 5 December 2015 - African First Ladies, in partnership with China, have reaffirmed their commitment to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

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NEW YORK, 28 November 2014 – An estimated 1.1 million HIV infections among children under 15 have been averted, as new cases declined by over 50 per cent between 2005 and 2013, according to data released by UNICEF.

This extraordinary progress is the result of expanding the access of millions of pregnant women living with HIV to services for the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). These include lifelong HIV treatment that markedly reduces the transmission of the virus to babies and keeps their mothers alive and well.

“If we can avert 1.1 million new HIV infections in children, we can protect every child from HIV – but only if we reach every child,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.  “We must close the gap, and invest more in reaching every mother, every newborn, every child and every adolescent with HIV prevention and treatment programmes that can save and improve their lives.”

The sharpest declines took place between 2009 and 2013 in eight African countries: Malawi (67%); Ethiopia (57%); Zimbabwe (57%); Botswana (57%); Namibia (57%); Mozambique (57%); South Africa (52%) and Ghana (50%).

But the global goal of reducing new HIV infections in children by 90 per cent between 2009 and 2015 is still out of reach. Only 67 per cent of pregnant women living with HIV in all low- and middle-income countries received the most effective antiretroviral medicines for PMTCT in 2013.

Disparity in access to treatment is hampering progress. Among people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries, adults are much more likely than children to get antiretroviral therapy (ART). In 2013, 37 per cent of adults aged 15 and older received treatment, compared with only 23 per cent of children (aged 0-14) – or less than 1 in 4.

AIDS mortality trends for adolescents are also of significant concern. While all other age groups have experienced a decline of nearly 40 per cent in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2013, adolescents (aged 10-19) are the only age group in which AIDS-related deaths are not decreasing.

UNICEF’s Statistical Update on Children, Adolescents and AIDS provides the most recent analysis of global data on children and adolescents from birth to 19 years of age.

To download a copy of the data update, excel spreadsheets, tables and graphs, please visit:


Anthony Mwangi

Public Affairs Manager,
UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA

Menelik Ave, UNECA Old Blg, South Wing, 3rd Flr
P.O. Box 1169, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Phone: +251-11-518-4223
Mobile: +251-911-513-058  
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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14 March 2013 - At least 28% of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive compared with 4% of boys because "sugar daddies" are exploiting them, according to the Health ministry.

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21 November 2012 - The fight against new HIV infections among children should aim at community ownership to achieve zero new infections.

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UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé called today on African governments to take on a greater share of AIDS investments in their own countries and across the region. Addressing an audience of Heads of State and Government attending the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Mr Sidibé said that financing a sustainable response to the HIV epidemic in Africa will require home grown and innovative solutions that meet the needs of the African people.

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HIV has plagued Kenya and the sub-Saharan region for the last three decades. An estimated 1.5 million people are living with the virus and 1.2 million children have been orphaned by Aids.

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Wednesday, 04 January 2012 11:16

ETHIOPIA: New PMTCT plan needs men


Ethiopia's new plan to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015 cannot be attained unless men are more meaningfully involved in reproductive health, experts say.

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Today marks the final day of the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) 2011, which took place in Addis Ababa's state-of-the-art conference center, the Millennium Hall.

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Friday, 09 December 2011 06:56

Global Fund: We Are Here to Stay


When the Global Fund's Deputy Executive Director, Debrework Zewdie, was about to reminded audience members that the Global Fund's commitment to treat Africa's HIV/AIDS population is not in demise, a column of nearly 100 activists silently marched through the plenary carrying signs pressuring African governments and donors to recognize ownership of the AIDS epidemic.

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Under the banner “Getting to zero,” UN leaders and community representatives engaged in a passionate exchange on sustainable funding for the AIDS response in Africa. The discussion was overshadowed by mounting concern over the recent cancellation of Round 11 by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

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