Pediatric AIDS Treatment Must Be Prioritized

By EGPAF | May 15, 2014

EGPAF President and CEO Charles Lyons pens an open letter to U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx, calling for aggressive targets to reach HIV-positive children around the world.

EGPAF

Today and every day around the world, 700 babies will become newly infected with HIV. Without medication, only about 20 percent of these children will live past their fifth birthday.

What’s more, a mere 647,000 of the 3.2 million children living with HIV, have access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) that will help them stay healthy.

To address this treatment gap and call attention to the fact that most HIV medications are not specifically formulated for children, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) President and CEO, Charles Lyons, issued an open letter to Amb. Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, urging her to set aggressive targets to reach HIV-positive children around the world with lifesaving treatments.

As the leader of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Amb. Birx has demonstrated a commitment to children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. EGPAF encourages Amb. Birx to put the full weight of her office behind strong bilateral and global pediatric HIV treatment targets.

To build political momentum around access to pediatric HIV treatment, EGPAF and UNAIDS will be hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, May 15, 2014. The event will feature a panel of speakers including Charles Lyons, Amb. Birx, Craig McClure, UNICEF’s chief of the HIV/AIDS Programme Division, and many more.

Stay tuned to our blog for highlights from the event and be sure to check out our video below to learn more about the vital need for improved access to pediatric HIV care and treatment.