In 2009, it was estimated that 370,000 children were newly infected with HIV. Although AIDS-related deaths globally are decreasing, still 260,000 children died from AIDS-related causes in 2009. This represents a major unmet medical need in HIV.
HIV/AIDS in infants and children presents some important challenges. For example, considerable health resources are required to increase the early detection of HIV. Once detected, fewer antiretroviral drugs are approved for use in children, who often require different formulations such as liquids and more complex dosing regimens based on body weight.
We know that HIV-positive adults often have to overcome significant barriers to access treatment and services – these barriers are even greater for children. Social problems such as being an orphan, or being looked after by adults often infected with HIV themselves, can be overwhelming. So it’s not surprising that globally children still lag behind adults in access to treatment.
Children living with HIV face a life of antiretroviral treatment. As they grow older, they need support to ensure that, in turn, they do not transmit HIV to their own children or sexual partners.
Read about how ViiV Healthcare is addressing these challenges through its Positive Action for Children programme and Paediatric Seed Fund
Source: UNAIDS global report 2010