18 September 2014: UNITAID was present at a high-level panel on paediatric HIV at the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) conference summit this week, joining global leaders to discuss how to bridge the enormous treatment gap between children and adults living with HIV. According to UNAIDS, 38% of adults living with HIV were on life-sustaining antiretroviral therapy in 2013, while only 24% of children received HIV treatment. Children, who represent 9% of all people living with HIV, accounted for almost 13% of AIDS-related deaths in 2013.
Participants discussed how their organizations are contributing to UNAIDS’ “90-90-90” targets to halt the spread of HIV by 2020 and eliminate the disease by 2030. Released at the 2014 International AIDS Conference this summer, this plan aims to ensure that 90% of those infected with HIV are screened; 90% of those living with the disease are on treatment and 90% have an “undetectable” amount of virus in their bodies.
According to the panel, the number of children currently on treatment will need to be doubled in order to achieve the 90-90-90 targets. Currently three of four of these children living with HIV are not receiving HIV treatment.
Ending pediatric AIDS has become a political priority, with a number of initiatives launched this year. This includes the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI), launched by UNITAID with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). The PHTI will focus on removing the barriers to developing and delivering specific pediatric formulations and combinations appropriate for children. This summer, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), launched Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) to double the total number of children receiving ART in ten priority African countries over the next two years.
UNITAID was represented by Technical Officer Gelise McCullough. Joining her on the panel: Dr Badara Samb, Chief; UNAIDS, Dr Deborah Birx, Ambassador at Large, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR); Peter McDermott, Managing Director, Children's Investment Fund Foundation and Dr Anja Giphart, Executive Vice President, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Download the Summit Program and Oral Abstracts in [PDF format, 2.6 MB].