"Helping mothers give birth to HIV-free children is an essential piece of the puzzle of ending preventable child deaths," U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes in this post in the AIDS.gov blog, adding, "Yet 390,000 infants around the globe were born with the virus in 2010." He continues, "Science has long established that providing mothers with antiretroviral drugs can prevent them from transmitting the virus to their children -- as well as keeping the mothers alive themselves," and writes, "What is needed is to take this intervention, available in affluent nations to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and make it available in the developing world."
"Preventing new HIV infections among children is not only the right thing to do, but also a smart investment -- stretching each dollar we invest to save as many lives as we can, both today and tomorrow," Goosby writes, noting, "This week marks an important opportunity to advance this goal: the Child Survival Call to Action, convened by the governments of the United States, India, and Ethiopia, in close collaboration with UNICEF." He concludes, "This is a hopeful moment in global health, including the fight against HIV/AIDS. I believe this week's Call to Action will resonate around the world, fostering hope -- and action" (6/11).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.