Response to children with Aids “tragically indifferent”

Millions of children remain at risk from HIV/Aids and the world’s response to their plight remains “tragically insufficient”, a United Nations report said on Tuesday.

The report by UNAids, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization was released on the first anniversary of the “Unite for Children, Unite against Aids” programme, which set targets to deal with Aids in children.

It said there are some signs that attitudes and policies are starting to change.

About 2,3-million children under 15 are infected with HIV, 15,2 million children under 18 have lost one or both parents to Aids and millions more have been made vulnerable, according to the report.

“In the year since [the programme was launched], the world’s response to protect and support Aids-affected children remains tragically insufficient. But in important and positive ways, that is beginning to change,” it said.

The agencies estimate that $30-billion are required to address the “four P’s” of their strategy: preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV; providing paediatric treatment; preventing infection among adolescents and young people; and protecting and supporting children affected by HIV/Aids.

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