Only half (52%) of the 1.7 million children living with HIV around the world had access to life-saving treatment in 2021, compared to 76% of adults. A recent report by UNAIDS, In Danger showed that every six minutes a child under the age of 15 died of AIDS last year. Too often, children’s voices are not being heard and their needs are not being met. As a result, the gap in progress between adults and children is widening.
Determined that reaching children affected by HIV be made a top global priority, faith communities and health leaders came together at a high-profile event held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to mobilize action and find effective ways forward. The event highlighted innovative models developed with faith-based organisations that have substantially improved outcomes for children, showing that more can be done.
Loyce Maturu, Advocacy Officer at Zvandiri, spoke at the the event sharing her experiences growing up with HIV.
“We need more than medicines if children are to take their treatment, survive and thrive,” Loyce told leaders at the event. “We need better health and psychosocial support to help us understand our condition and treatment, to learn how to grow with HIV to feel confident, valued and loved and to be able to achieve our hopes and dreams.”
Read the UNAIDS Press Release here and an article from the World Council of Churches here