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UN Reports Progress in Treating Children With HIV/AIDS; Challenges Remain


A new United Nations report shows progress in treating children with HIV/AIDS, but says challenges remain.

The Children and AIDS report by three U.N. agencies, UNICEF, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, says that last year 2.1 million children under the age of 15 were living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. It estimates 290,000 children under the age of 15 died from AIDS in 2007.

Among other findings, the report says by the end of 2006, 21 countries were on track to reach 80 percent coverage to prevent mother to child transmission by 2010. That is up from only 11 countries just three years ago.

The report also states the number of HIV-positive children in low and middle-income countries getting anti-AIDS medication rose by 70 percent, to more than 125,000 from 2005 to 2006.

But the report also found that while the proportion of infected pregnant women on AIDS drugs had risen 60 percent from 2005 to 2006, it estimates that only 23 percent of all HIV-positive pregnant women during that time period were receiving the medication, which greatly reduces mother to child transmission.

The report calls for more resources for prevention, treatment and protection efforts.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.