AHF Africa Praises African Leaders’ Pledge To End AIDS In Children


The largest provider of HIV/AIDS care globally, The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), praised
the commitment by African nations to eliminate AIDS in children by 2030. In a meeting
convened by the United Republic of Tanzania, Ministers and representatives of twelve African
countries collectively backed the Dar es Salaam Declaration on ending AIDS in children by laying
out a concrete stratagem anchored on four pillars, including early screening and treatment for
newborns and children, expanding treatment access for pregnant women living with HIV,
preventing new infections among pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls, and removing
gender, rights-based and socio-structural barriers that impede access to services for many.
“We welcome this reinvigoration to strengthen Africa’s paediatric HIV/AIDS response, which
has waned over the years and yet is an essential component for achieving global AIDS control,”
said AHF Africa Bureau Chief, Dr. PenninahIutung,. “For a continent with the highest population
of young people in the world, safeguarding its future also requires putting the right systems,
tools and actions in place to ensure that every child is born HIV-free and children and
adolescents living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatment and care.”
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), every five minutes, a
child dies from AIDS-related causes, and only half of the children living with HIV are receiving
antiretrovirals. Additionally, in 2021, children accounted for 15 per cent of all AIDS-related
deaths despite making up only 4 per cent of people living with HIV globally, and 160,000
became newly infected with HIV.
“We look forward to supporting the governments and relevant UN agencies’ efforts in making
this commitment a reality given our presence in seven of these 12 countries. We also hope to
hold these leaders accountable in the future,” added Dr. Iutung.
The declaration forms part of the UNAIDS-led Global Alliance to End AIDS in children by 2030,
with the first batch of members drawn from twelve high HIV burden countries, namely Angola,
Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique,
Nigeria, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
AHF supports HIV/AIDS response for young people through various approaches. One of them is
its popular Girls Act programme, an initiative that empowers young women and girls with
information and services on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, menstrual hygiene
management, school scholarships, and psychosocial support for better health outcomes.

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