United Nations: An estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia, according to a report by UNICEF which warned that around 80 adolescents will be dying of AIDS every day globally by 2030 if progress in preventing transmission is not accelerated.
The report noted South Asia has made substantial progress in reducing HIV risks and vulnerability among children, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers. In India, an estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 0–19 were living with HIV in 2017. In Pakistan, this number was 5,800, followed by Nepal (1,600) and Bangladesh (less than 1,000), according to the UNICEF report released on Thursday ‘Children, HIV and AIDS: The World in 2030’.
In 2017, the estimated number of children under 5 years old newly-diagnosed with HIV was 43% lower than the comparable estimate in 2010 — a decline greater than the 35% recorded globally. The estimated share of those aged 0–14 living with HIV who had been initiated on lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 73% in 2017, an increase of nearly 50 percentage points from 2010.
The report however warned by 2030, around 80 adolescents will be dying of AIDS every day if “we don’t accelerate progress in preventing transmission.” The report said current trends indicate AIDS-related deaths and new infections are slowing, but the downward trajectory is not happening fast enough. “The report makes it clear, without the shadow of a doubt, that the world is off track when it comes to ending AIDS among children and adolescents by 2030,” said UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore.