Every minute, a child under the age of 15 is infected with HIV. AIDS kills over 1,000 children every day, and claims roughly half a million young lives every year.
In rich countries, paediatric HIV/AIDS is largely under control: prevention of mother-to-child transmission is successful, and infants and children have access to diagnostics and antiretroviral therapy. But 87% of the estimated 2.3 million children living with HIV/AIDS grow up in sub-Saharan Africa, and the vast majority are beyond the reach of these health services. They are condemned to die due to lack of access to treatment.
Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) experience has shown that children respond very well to treatment and can get better quickly. However, practical issues make diagnosing and treating children infected with HIV/AIDS much more difficult than adults. The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on children has been, and will continue to be, devastating. More than 15 million children have lost one or both parents to the AIDS epidemic
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