Governments, Aid Agencies Must Do More To Increase HIV Prevention, Education Programs for Children, Report Says
Governments and aid agencies must do more to increase HIV prevention and education programs for children, according to a PLAN International report, BBC News reports. The report, titled "Circle of Hope: A Global Framework for Tackling HIV and AIDS," was supported by UNICEF and estimates that more than 1,800 children around the world become HIV-positive daily and that 2.3 million children under age 15 are HIV-positive, many of whom lack access to treatment and care. According to the report, gender inequality, poverty, lack of educational resources and social relationships are factors in children's risk of contracting HIV. The report calls for increased efforts to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among children, including HIV prevention education, greater prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission and the creation of support systems for orphans and children who are most at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. The report also encourages policymakers to mandate universal birth registration to protect the inheritance and property rights of orphans and HIV-positive children. "Despite some progress, children are still the missing face of AIDS in the global response," a UNICEF spokesperson said, adding, "More must be done to also reach the most vulnerable groups. Girls who are at risk of being trafficked are among those." National AIDS Trust CEO Deborah Jack said, "We must ensure that all governments are acting vigorously to end gender inequality and to stamp out the sexual exploitation of children through both legal and economic interventions." She added, "The international community must as a matter of urgency address the two evils which are making children so vulnerable to HIV -- poverty and the denial of human rights." According to UNAIDS, fewer than 50% of young people worldwide are knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, BBC News reports (BBC News, 8/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.