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July 23/30, 2014

Realization of an AIDS-Free Generation: Ensuring Sustainable Treatment for Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Inforia, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 3The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
JAMA. 2014;312(4):339-340. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5806

According to a 2011 statement from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), “by 2015 children everywhere can be born free of HIV and their mothers remain alive.” These ambitious goals were defined to provide renewed energy and to reinvigorate programs to realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation.1 Since the launch of the Global Plan Toward the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive (focused on 22 countries with the highest estimated numbers of pregnant women, with a goal to reduce new HIV infection by 90% and HIV-related maternal deaths by 5%), there has been a substantive expansion of investments resulting in improved access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in pregnant women as a means to eliminate vertical HIV transmission. As a result, at the end of 2012, 62% of pregnant women with HIV in low- and middle-income countries were receiving ART for prevention of vertical transmission, a significant increase from 14% in 2005.2 This progress has led to a reduction of new infections among children; between 2009 and 2012, it is estimated that 670 000 children in these countries were prevented from acquiring HIV infection.2