Indians Make up Over 90% HIV-Infected Kids & Teens in South Asia
An estimated 1,20,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017. 
An estimated 1,20,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Indians Make up Over 90% HIV-Infected Kids & Teens in South Asia

This World AIDS Day, a report by UNICEF gives a reality check on how far the world is from fulfilling its pledge of ending AIDS by 2030. While commending the remarkable progress made in the past decade among children aged 0-9 years, it sheds light on the lack of efforts to prevent HIV among adolescents.

A staggering 360,000 adolescents are projected to die of AIDS-related diseases between 2018 and 2030 without additional investment in HIV prevention, testing and treatment programs.

The World Today

  • 3.0 million children and adolescents are living with HIV. Nearly nine in ten live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 430,000 children and adolescents became newly infected with the virus in 2017.
  • 130,000 children and adolescents died from AIDS-related causes in 2017.

The World in 2030

  • 1.9 million children and adolescents are projected to be living with HIV
  • 270,000 children and adolescents are projected to become newly infected with the virus annually
  • 56,000 children and adolescents are projected to die from AIDS-related causes annually
  • 2.0 million new HIV infections could be averted between 2018 and 2030 if global goals are met – 1.5 million of these would be averted among adolescents

Also Read : 21% of HIV+ Indians Are Unaware Of their Status: UNAIDS Report

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HIV in South Asia & India

An estimated 1,20,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia.
An estimated 1,20,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

An estimated 1,20,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia , followed by Pakistan’s 5,800, Nepal’s 1600 and Bangladesh’s less than 1000.

However, the report also mentions that South Asia has made substantial progress in reducing HIV risks and vulnerability among children, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers.

In 2017, the estimated number of children under 5 years old newly diagnosed with HIV was 43 per cent lower than the comparable estimate in 2010 — a decline greater than the 35 per cent recorded globally.

Also, the estimated share of those aged 0–14 living with HIV who had been initiated on lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 73 per cent in 2017, an increase of nearly 50 percentage points from 2010.

After an overall analysis of the world by major geographical areas, the report makes the need for more efforts and programmes towards HIV prevention and treatment evident.

In the words of UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore, "The report makes it clear, without the shadow of a doubt, that the world is off track when it comes to ending AIDS among children and adolescents by 2030.”

Also Read : From Week to 15-Day Dose, Why HIV Patients Think Govt Doesn’t Care

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