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"All Newborns to be HIV Free" in 5 Years

by Trilok Kapur on  March 9, 2010 at 1:21 PM AIDS/HIV News   - G J E 4
While making strides in reducing deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, the Global Fund to fight the three diseases said Monday, that within five years the world could shield all newborns from HIV.
  • Eradicating HIV among newborns could be possible by 2015, the report said
  • A new malaria vaccine has been tested on 100 children in a rural part of the west African country of Mali
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But those gains depend on the world continuing to ramp up health spending to maintain the current rate of progress, the Fund said in its annual report, released ahead of a funding meeting in the Netherlands later this month.

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"A world where no children are born with HIV is truly possible by 2015," said Global Fund head Michel Kazatchkine.

"It is also possible now to imagine a world with no more malaria deaths, since already an increasing number of countries have been reporting a reduction in malaria deaths of more than 50 percent over the past couple of years," he said.

"No other area of development has seen such a direct and rapid correlation between donor investments and live-saving impact as these investments in fighting AIDS, TB and malaria."

Programs supported by the Global Fund have provided anti-retroviral drugs to 790,000 pregnant women with HIV, dramatically reducing the chances of their babies being born with the virus.

That represents about 45 percent of the women who need such treatment, the Fund said, adding that reaching the goal of 100 percent depends on ongoing donor commitments.

The Global Fund was established as a public-private partnership in 2002, and has become the world's main vehicle for financing schemes to combat AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. About 10 billion dollars has been disbursed by the Fund as of December.

In Africa, the three diseases account for 52 percent of deaths among women of child-bearing age. Among children, malaria alone accounts for up to 18 percent of deaths.

Source: AFP
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