28 Nov 2014
Lackson and his smiling mother, Agness Chabu sit in their home in Lusaka, Zambia. Ms. Chabu and her husband, Innocent, are both HIV-positive. Ms. Chabu participated in the Chelstone Clinic’s Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV programme during her pregnancy with Lackson and through his first 18 months. Lackson is now 23 months old and HIV-negative.© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0262/Nesbitt
An estimated 1.1 million HIV infections among children under 15 years old have been averted, according to data released by the UN Children’s Fund, ahead of World AIDS Day.
HIV is the virus which leads to AIDS.
UNICEF said new infections declined by over 50 per cent between 2005 and 2013 as a result of the provision of services for the prevention of mother to child transmission to millions of pregnant women living with HIV.
The sharpest reductions took place in eight African countries.
Malawi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Ghana.
However, the global goal of reducing new HIV infections in children by 90 per cent before 2015 is still out of reach, UNICEF said.
AIDS mortality trends for adolescents up to the age of 19 are also a significant concern.
While all other age groups have experienced a decline of nearly 40 per cent in AIDS-related deaths up to 2013, the rate is not falling among young people.
Stephanie Castro, United Nations