Close-up on Paediatric HIV

An estimated 3.3 million children under 15 years of age were living with HIV worldwide in 2012. During that one year alone, some 260,000 children were infected with HIV (over 90% of these were in sub-Saharan Africa). A further 210,000 died of the disease, the vast majority before reaching the age of two and without having been diagnosed. Most of these deaths could have been avoided had diagnosis been carried out in the first weeks of infection and treatment immediately commenced.  While the absolute number of infants newly infected with HIV is now declining due to international efforts made in prevention of mother to child transmission, the need for paediatric treatment will continue to increase at least until 2020.