Every 100 seconds, a child or young person under 20 years of age, was infected with the HIV/AIDS virus in 2019, reveals a report — Reimagining a Resilient HIV Response for Children, Adolescents and Pregnant Women Living with HIV — released by UNICEF in November. Nearly 320,000 children and adolescents were newly infected with HIV and 110,000 children died of AIDS last year with less than half children worldwide not having access to life-saving treatment.
“Even as the world struggles in the midst of an ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of children continue to suffer the ravages of the HIV epidemic. There is still no HIV vaccine. Children are still getting infected at alarming rates, and they are still dying from AIDS. This was even before Covid-19 interrupted vital HIV treatment and prevention services putting countless more lives at risk,” says Henrietta Fore, executive director, UNICEF.
According to UNICEF, the Covid-19 pandemic has impeded access to life-saving HIV services for children, adolescents and pregnant mothers.