1 Dec 2010

UNICEF aims to stop parent-child HIV transmission by 2015

9:06 pm on 1 December 2010

The executive director of UNICEF New Zealand says it's committed to stopping all transmission of HIV from mothers to children by 2015.

The comment follows the release of UNICEF's latest report on children and HIV/AIDS marking international AIDS day today.

Dennis McKinlay says there are five million people aged 15 to 24 estimated to be living with HIV, a drop of 700-thousand since 2001.

In the Pacific, the vulnerability of children to HIV is especially evident in Papua New Guinea, where the official estimate of people living with the virus is point nine percent of the population, although unofficial estimates stand at well over double that figure.

Mr McKinlay says UNICEF's new treatment pack for mothers is available in PNG and will help to reduce HIV transmission to babies.

"It's in a little, like a little lunchbox and it has all the instructions and it's colour-coded so that a mother knows even if she's not going to a health clinic on a regular basis, she knows from this little kit how to take the drugs at the time of birth so as to prevent that transmission."

The executive director of UNICEF New Zealand, Dennis McKinlay.