According to estimates by UNAIDS, about 90% of children affected by HIV globally are in sub-Saharan Africa.
This was revealed during a forum held in Ivory Coast on Tuesday that gathered health experts and government officials from across the world.
UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe said that the need for universal access to treatment should be priority for African states and senior HIV programme officials on the international community to make ending the paediatric AIDS pandemic a global political priority.
“We have the opportunity to have a political declaration on ending AIDS from the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS to help us set concrete objectives so that treatment becomes universal for everyone, wherever they find themselves,” he added.
It is estimated that around 2.6 million children are living with HIV and according to health experts, nearly 50% of the children born with the virus die before their fifth birthday due to lack of access to anti-retroviral therapy.
Ivory Coast’s first lady Dominique Ouattara, who is also a UNAIDS Special Ambassador, called for the prevention of new infections among children, provision of care and treatment to all children living with the virus.
According to statistics, nearly 5 million people don’t have access to HIV treatment in Central and West Africa.
UNAIDS projects that it is possible to end paediatric AIDS by 2020 if treatment targets are met by 2018.