UNAIDS Board Calls for Accelerated Access to HIV Treatment
By Eliane Drakopoulos | December 20, 2013
The 33rd UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) concluded on Dec. 19 with a call-to-action for member states to accelerate access to HIV treatment for women, children, and adolescents.
The Board also asked UNAIDS to prepare a discussion paper and a gap analysis on pediatric HIV treatment, care, and support with “specific, time-bound targets for getting all children living with HIV on treatment.” The PCB requested that UNAIDS develop a strategy to achieve this goal, which will be presented at the 35th meeting of the PCB in December 2014.
This decision followed an intervention by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) requesting UNAIDS and PCB member states to do more to address the disparities in access to treatment facing children.
“We will be following up closely with UNAIDS to ensure that there is more focus on establishing what the exact barriers are facing children in accessing treatment, and strategizing on how we can dismantle those barriers,” said Philip O’Brien, EGPAF’s executive vice president of communications, advocacy, and development.
“This is a matter of urgency. Seven hundred children are born with HIV day after day, and we need to ensure they will receive the treatment they need to live long and healthy lives. The international community can and must do more for these children.”