Progress in reducing new HIV infections among children has been made, but not fast enough

Fast facts:
  • About 160,000 [Confidence bounds: 110,000-260,000] new HIV infections among children under five occurred in 2018, dramatically declining from 280,000 [190,000-430,000] in 2010 and representing a 41 per cent decline.

Progress in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been dramatic since the introduction in 2011 of the ‘Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children and Keeping their Mothers Alive’ – largely because of increased access to PMTCT-related services and increased number of pregnant women living with HIV being initiated on lifelong antiretroviral medicines. But it has not been fast enough to reach the 2020 targets set by UNAIDS and partners as part of the Super-Fast-Track Framework to end AIDS. Acceleration of treatment for all pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV is still needed to achieve elimination of new infections among children and halve HIV-related deaths among pregnant women and new mothers.



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  • Key HIV epidemiology indicators for children and adolescents aged 0-19, 2000-2018

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  • Early Infant Diagnosis for HIV, 2010-2018

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  • ANC-based HIV testing for pregnant women, 2015, 2017 and 2018

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  • Coverage of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), 2010-2018

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  • Coverage of antiretroviral treatment (ART) among children aged 0-14 living with HIV, 2010-2018

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  • Key indicators in adolescent HIV prevention, 2000-2018

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  • Number of children aged 0-17 who have lost one or both parents, by cause, 1990-2018

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  • Per cent of people expressing discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV, 2014-2018

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Data sources + methodology

Global AIDS monitoring 2018

In order to monitor the HIV response and progress towards achieving global goals, countries submit national and subnational data on a host of indicators to the Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) system. Annual submissions are reviewed and validated. Data consist of programmatic data for HIV prevention, testing and treatment. Other indicators require data from population-based surveys and surveys focused on key populations at risk of HIV infection.

For more information, click here.

UNAIDS estimates and Spectrum’s AIDS Impact model

Each year countries update their AIDS Impact Model in Avenir Health’s Spectrum software to develop the latest estimates for the HIV epidemic. Supported by UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF these estimates are used to inform programme and policy decisions for HIV epidemic response.

Useful links:

Nationally representative surveys

Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS), reproductive health surveys, sexual behaviour surveys and other nationally representative surveys are currently used to collect data on HIV and AIDS.