About 360 000 teenagers are expected to die of HIV and Aids-related diseases between 2018 and 2030 at current trends. This translates to 76 teenage deaths every day.
This is according to a study conducted by Unicef, aimed at encouraging more investment in the prevention, testing and treatment of the disease, as the “downward trajectory is too slow, particularly among adolescents”.
During the launch of the report Children and Aids: The World in 2030, Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore said: “The report makes it clear, without a shadow of a doubt, that the world is off track when it comes to ending Aids among children and adolescents by 2030.
“Programmes to prevent HIV transmission from mothers to babies are paying off but haven’t gone far enough, while programmes to treat the virus and prevent it from spreading among older children are nowhere near where they should be.”
The report revealed that currently, statistics showed that a teenager between the ages of 10 and 19 was infected with the virus every two minutes (that is 700 a day) and while this number was expected to decrease by 2030, it would only be a 29% decline.
It also said about 1.1 million of the 1.9 million children predicted to still be living with the virus in 2030 globally come from the eastern and southern Africa region.
The study also said the same region was currently home to more than half of the three million children and teenagers currently living with the disease.
However, it predicted the number of new HIV infections among children would be reduced by half by 2030.
It said that by 2030, the greatest decline in children from birth to 19 years old living with HIV would be in the south Asia region by 50%, followed closely by the eastern and southern Africa region with a predicted decline of 40%.
“We can’t win the fight against HIV if we don’t accelerate progress in preventing transmission to the next generation.
“We must maintain the sense of urgency to sustain gains made in the past decade – for both boys and girls. And to do this, we must look to innovative and preventative ways of reaching the most vulnerable,” Fore Stated.