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UNICEF: Children and AIDS, 2008

In December 2008, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched its Third Stocktaking Report: Children and AIDS. Like the previous two reports, this Stocktaking Report has been written in the context of UNICEF’s initiative Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, which started in October 2005. The report aims to monitor worldwide progress in addressing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, in providing paeditraic HIV care and treatment, in preventing infection among adolescents and young people and in supporting and protecting children affected by HIV and AIDS. It starts from the premises that knowing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in terms of causes, effects, risks and geographical and socio-cultural variations is important, but not sufficient to address HIV/AIDS among children. To be able to combat the latter, the report argues you have to "know your children", which means identifying children who are vulnerable or affected and how to reach, protect and treat them.

Although there is evidence of progess in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment amongst children in various countries, the Third Stocktaking Report finds that, amongst others, more emphasis should be put on the early diagnosis of HIV/AIDS among children; the accessibility to anti-retroviral drugs for pregnant women; and the provision of child feeding. This will allow for quicker treatment and increase infected children’s survival opportunities. In order to faciliate the above, HIV/AIDS programmes should not be exclusive, but should be integrated in primary health care institutions and tailored to the needs of adolescents and young people. In addition, a well-developed social sector is needed.

Related to the outcomes of the report, the report provides country indicators on the severity and treatment of the HIV/AIDS epidemic amongst children and pregnant women.

To download the report, click here.

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to develop constructive relations between the UN and civil society organizations.

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