A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has shown that, at least, one child globally was infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) every two minutes in 2020.

The report, which was released to commemorate the 2021 World AIDS Day (WAD), indicates that not less than 300,000 children globally were newly infected with HIV in 2020.

It also shows that 120,000 children died from AIDS-related causes during the same period, or one child every five minutes.

According to the report, two in five children living with HIV worldwide do not know their status, and just over half of children with HIV are receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART).

WAD is celebrated December 1 every year to honour the people who have fallen to the disease as well as people living with HIV.

It is also celebrated to raise awareness on the disease and the need for people to know their status.

The theme of 2021 WAD is “End inequalities, End AIDS”.

It also indicates that in Nigeria, about 30 per cent of AIDS-related deaths in 2020 occurred in children.

“Alarmingly, only about 3.5 per cent of the 1,629,427 Nigerians receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) are children, revealing a big treatment gap,” the report said.

In Nigeria, almost eight out of 10 new infections occurring in adolescents aged 10-19 occur in adolescent girls, while an estimated 83,000 pregnant women in Nigeria are HIV positive.

Only 44 per cent of them are on ART, risking continued mother-to-child transmission of HIV.




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