Plan aims to end HIV in kids by 2015

2011-06-10 09:30

New York - World leaders launched a global plan on Thursday with the goal of ensuring that every baby is born HIV-free by 2015 - and that their HIV mothers live to raise them.

The UN says nearly every minute a baby is born with HIV. In 2009, that meant 370 000 children were infected with HIV, almost all in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.

At the UN's high-level meeting on Aids, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined other leaders to launch the roadmap to achieve the goal of eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV in the next four years.

"We believe that by 2015 children everywhere can be born free of HIV and that their mothers can remain healthy," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, the UN agency fighting the disease. "This new global plan is realistic, it is achievable and it is driven by the most affected countries."

US Global Aids Co-ordinator Eric Goosby called preventing new HIV infections in children a "smart investment".

"Working together, we can reverse this tide as we have done in the United States and they are very close to doing in Botswana," he said.

The plan

The plan - "Countdown to Zero" - was developed by team led by UNAIDS and the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, which Goosby heads. The team included representatives from more than 30 countries and 50 organisations.

The plan includes ensuring that all pregnant women have access to quality lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services for themselves and their children and that there are adequate financial resources and trained health staff to meet the goal.

In 2009, the UN said an estimated 42 000-60 000 pregnant women died because of HIV almost all of them in developing countries. In high-income countries the number of new HIV infections was virtually zero and the number of child and maternal deaths due to HIV was also almost zero.

Ban said the developed world has shown that "there is every reason to believe that we can save millions of lives across the developing world".

Lower drug prices

Former US president Bill Clinton told the crowd of several hundred leaders, diplomats, Aids activists and people living with HIV that "just 22 countries account for 90% of paediatric infections".

He called for lower drug prices and strong political leadership to ensure that everyone works together to meet the goal.

The launch of the Global Plan, as it is known, sparked a number of new contributions: an additional $75m from the US on top of the approximately $300 million it already provides annually, $40m from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $20m from Chevron and $15m from Johnson & Johnson.

  • grumpy - 2011-06-10 10:03

    Put them in the shower !!!

      mo-man - 2011-06-10 10:35

      ..and remember your showercap

  • Bill - 2011-06-10 10:13

    Mission impossible...They just do not understand Africa...!

  • kgalalelo.malesele - 2011-06-10 10:26

    @Bill, man everything is possible in Africa i mean if they can do it in Botswana surely whole Africa can do it .....u saw that he said they are close to doing it there as much as they done it in usa. lets have hope on Africa pls

      Andre - 2011-06-10 10:50

      sorry mate... Africa is the begging capital of the world... always has been always will be! To much pity has been shown.. to much has been given.. NOT enough 'get of your lazy ar*e' and get on with it' coming from this continent. NO we will beg, pillage, burn and demand! Funny thing an AFRICAN.. wants everything but won't apply themselves!

      ratex - 2011-06-10 10:57

      Uggghh, nope, 65% of the people in BOTSWANA are HIV+. Yes, 65%. Next to Swaziland, they have the highest % of Aids in Africa. SA is not far behind, we are on 40%. Whether you like it or not, the solution is to educate people, in our case africans, to stop sticking their dicks into everything that moves. FFS, how many wives do you need? Wife 1 lives with you, wife 2 is the skelm and wife 3 stays back in th "homeland". One wife, one sex partner, cover up.As long as africans behave like they do, then Aids will always be around. This aint some virus that the cANCer can just ignore or simply say "be gone, baas jacob sed so".

      Colin - 2011-06-10 16:30

      Great Kgalalelo...Then the next pandemic is famine, because we have neither the means nor the food to provide for these children. I am African, yet I despair in my follow Africans inability to see common sense. This is not about anyone not having hope.. This is about fact. We need to accept that our African-ness does not exempt us from common sense and morality. Our cultural beliefs are not an excuse for all our short comings. Perhaps if for once we had the gumption to admit that we are in the wrong, and that we need to change, people would stop being so cynical. But simply believing that ARV's are a get out of jail free and that "life will go on"? The time has come for us to accept responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in, and to change. Until then, I'm afraid all hope is is a four lettered word...

  • mo-man - 2011-06-10 10:32

    The only plan to stop HIV is to get people to stop shagging around!!!

  • mo-man - 2011-06-10 10:34

    There should be a change in moral values. Money is not going to solve the whole AIDS issue.

  • Ingie - 2011-06-10 11:04

    Pray how this will be done. Does someone have that special magic wand!!! HIV free and guess what more babies, more poverty, more begging, more burning of schools so the wheel turns turns and eventually comes to what...poverty, sickness and no service delivery.

  • MadWomanHellenZille - 2011-06-10 14:05

    If we focus our attention and working with the rulling pary and not oppose it anything is possible

      Mabhulwana - 2011-06-11 08:00

      It is not supposed to be a 'ruling party', but a governing party. The problems start when people rule others.

  • Colin - 2011-06-10 14:23

    So we "cure" the symptom but not the cause? How exactly is the "developing world" going to feed these orphans? The mothers will "remain healthy"? To do what??? Have more children? As callous as this comment may seem, the LAST thing the developing world needs is more children. Maybe someone should adopt a realistic approach instead of the bunny hugging one.

      Mabhulwana - 2011-06-11 08:03

      There is enough money in the world to feed and clothe everyone, orphans included. The challenge therefore, is the unequal distribution of these resources.

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-06-10 15:46

    Most HIV people in SA are poor, not very well educated. How are they going to be kept alive? How are they going to pay foe these drugs? Government keeps stealing and wasting our tax money, so how are public health sectors going to be able to get the drugs for the people? And once again, no mention of an education plan to teach people about safe sex and planning a family that they can afford.

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