World AIDS Day: 2.3 million children live with HIV and AIDS

Tomorrow, 1st December, is World AIDS Day. The Day was proclaimed by the World Health Organisation and the UN General Assembly in 1988. Since then, it has provided yearly opportunities to raise awareness and organise campaigns about this growing issue.

Around 40 million people live with HIV today, and the number of HIV-positive people is currently rising in every single region of the world. Around 2.8 million people died of AIDS in 2005, and about 400,000 of them were children. After over 20 years, this pandemic is still gaining ground despite international, national and local awareness campaigns and the development of new treatments. World AIDS Day is therefore used to fight ignorance and prejudices that allow this deadly disease to spread.

The theme for this year's World AIDS Day is 'accountability', and its slogan: "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise". The theme and slogan refer to the various goals adopted and declarations made by the UN and member States:
 

  • the 2001 Declaration of Committment on HIV and AIDS, adopted at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS.
  • the 2006 review of the Declaration, at a High-Level meeting in May-June, which produced a new Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS.
  • the "3 by 5 initiative" launched by UNAIDS and WHO in 2003: global target to provide three million people living with HIV and AIDS in low- and middle-income countries with life-prolonging antiretroviral treatment (ART) by the end of 2005.
  • The commitment made by the G8 leaders in 2005 to universal access to treatment by 2010.

[Source: World AIDS Campaign, UN]

Children

Children are necessary victims of the spread of the disease: millions become orphans or contract the virus themselves through mother-to-child transmission. According to statistics released by Save the Children this week:
 

  • About 1,400 children under the age of 15 will die from AIDS-related illness today.
  • About 1,800 children will be infected with HIV today.
  • About 2.3 million of children under 15 are living with HIV and AIDS (39.5 million people in the world).
  • Fewer than 10 per cent of pregnant women are being offered services to prevent transmission of HIV to their infants, despite the fact that 90 per cent of HIV positive children have been infected through mother-to-child transmission.
  • Fewer than 10 per cent of the children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS receive public support or services.
  • Fewer than 5 per cent of children in need have access to life saving anti-retroviral treatment (ART).
  • Within four years an estimated 25 million children will be AIDS orphans.

This CRINMAIL provides information on current UN and NGO campaigns, recent resources and news on children affected by HIV and AIDS:

CRIN Quiz

CRIN produces weekly quizzes on topical issues pertaining to children's rights. Take this week's quiz on HIV and AIDS and find out how much you know!

Visit also CRIN's Information page on children and HIV and AIDS for regular news, events and publications.

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Employment

The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) is a youth-led, UNAIDS and UNFPA supported alliance of 2500 young leaders and adult allies working in 100 countries world-wide. More than half of the 5 million new HIV infections each year occur among young people under 25 years old, with 6,000 new infections each day. GYCA empowers young leaders with the skills, knowledge, resources and opportunities they need to scale up HIV/AIDS interventions amongst their peers.

GYCA is currently seeking Regional Focal Points for 2007. Please check the website for information on the principle functions, duties and responsibilities, criteria for application and benefits if you are interested in applying. The term for this position is 1 year (January - December 2007).

Application deadline: 11th December 2006

For more information, contact:
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS
211 East 43rd Street, Suite 905, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: +1 212 661 6111; Fax: +1 212 661 1933
Email: info@youthaidscoalition.org
Website: http://www.youthaidscoalition.org

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.