After 30 Years, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Calls for Ending MTCT Transmission of HIV

November 8, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Robert Yule, 202-390-9540, ryule@pedaids.org

Statement by Charles Lyons, President & CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

“We welcome Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for an AIDS-free generation, issued today during an address at the National Institutes of Health about indispensible U.S. investments in the global fight against AIDS.

In particular, she highlighted one of the greatest but least known scientific success stories of the past thirty years of the pandemic: preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. With the proper medicines, the risk that a mother with HIV will transmit the virus to her baby can be reduced to virtually zero.

We at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation share Secretary Clinton’s belief that we already have the tools we need to create an AIDS-free generation. We have the medicines and know-how to ensure that virtually no child is born with the virus. We have the treatment to ensure that parents and caretakers will be healthy enough to raise their children into adulthood. And we have a decade’s worth of experience bringing these lifesaving services to the regions hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic, such as sub-Saharan Africa.

U.S. investments have changed the course of the AIDS pandemic. Through successful programs like PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative, more than half of women in need are now receiving services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. Several African countries are even getting close to reaching every woman in need. We are at a crucial tipping point, where we can now realistically talk about ending pediatric AIDS. We hope that the U.S. Congress and other donors stay the course, and continue to make and protect the investments necessary for an AIDS-free generation.

The Foundation is currently working with PEPFAR, UNAIDS, and other partners to help implement the global plan to end all new HIV infections in children that Secretary Clinton referenced. Our challenge is to accelerate the progress already achieved, and to reach the other fifty percent of women who are not getting the services needed to keep themselves alive and healthy, and their children HIV-free.

We cannot leave the job half done. The Foundation echoes Secretary Clinton’s bold declaration that an AIDS-free generation is possible. We call on governments, businesses, and civil society to increase their political and financial commitments to make it happen. Collectively we must make a mother’s fight our fight, and end pediatric AIDS.”

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About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation:

The Foundation is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, and has reached nearly 13 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 5,600 sites in 16 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities in order to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.