International community must keep fighting to end mother-to-child HIV transmission
Published on December 18, 2012 at 4:39 AM
"Even with the knowledge and medicines to prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to children, there are still babies being born with HIV [in the U.S.] and around the world," Jake Glaser, Janice McCall, and Cristina Pena -- all persons living with HIV who contracted the virus through mother-to-child transmission and who work as ambassadors for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation -- write in the Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood" blog. "Without early treatment, half of those children will die by their second birthday. Their journeys will end far too soon," they continue, adding, "But it doesn't have to be that way."
"Scientists, governments, drug manufacturers, and private donors have come together to create and produce HIV medications for children and adults that are easier to take and can be taken less frequently," and "[t]hey are also working toward an eventual cure," the authors write. "But until then, one of our biggest challenges is just getting the medicines we already have to the millions of people who desperately need them," they state, adding, "Every child deserves an opportunity to grow up, to have a fifth birthday, to have a first kiss, to follow their dreams -- and if they want, to have a family of their own someday. ... Let's keep fighting until an AIDS-free generation becomes a reality" (12/14).
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.