Born Free of HIV
An HIV-free generation is within our grasp
Every day around the world 1,000 children are newly infected with HIV. Vulnerable newborns can contract the virus from their HIV positive mothers during pregnancy, labour or delivery. Without treatment, a third of babies with HIV won't live to see their second birthday.
But we can stop this happening.
Since 2007, the number of children infected has been reduced by about 400 children per day. Medical treatment for mothers and babies mean children can be born free of HIV. Reducing the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child can help us reach 0 infections.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
» Take part in the international consultations on the future of HIV and health post-2015. Share your thoughts!
» Host your own UNICEF event.... have a film night, curry night or pub quiz and ask for a gold coin donation to save and transform the lives of children.
» Read more about how reaching the most vulnerable children will help us stop HIV and AIDS infections in children.
» Watch The Carrier - a powerful true story of one woman’s journey as she comes to terms with HIV. The film is based in Zambia and tells the story of 28-year-old Mutinta Mweemba who is caught in a desperate struggle to stop HIV being passed onto her unborn child.
» Watch this short video which explains how stopping mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the key to an AIDS-free generation.
» Listen to the UNICEF-sponsored MTV radio show, set in Nairobi, Kenya, which follows a group of young people whose bright lives are balanced on a knife's edge due to their love of living dangerously.
uniting for mothers in PNG
The vast majority of people with HIV live in developing countries –
including in our own region, the Pacific. In many of these places UNICEF
is working to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS,
mobilising resources to fight the disease and campaigning for better
education and health services for women and children.
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), where HIV has reached near epidemic levels, UNICEF is working with a rural hospital in the small town of Mingende on a new approach to stopping mother-to-child transmission that is getting real results, and changing the way health services are provided.
More than half the estimated 34,000 people living with HIV in Papua New Guinea are women, but the social stigma surrounding the virus makes it difficult for them to get help. Just a decade ago, mothers who tested HIV-positive lived in fear of their lives. Even today, women found to be HIV-positive are often suspected of infidelity and can be subjected to violence and socially isolated by partners and family members.
The Mingende programme takes a 360-degree approach that includes community outreach to raise awareness of the issues, voluntary testing and counselling for couples and families, as well as medication and support for mothers, from pregnancy to post-natal care. In 2009, six years after the programme started, testing showed a 100 percent success rate: of the 25 babies born to HIV-positive mothers on the programme, none tested positive for HIV.
The Mingende programme shows that with the right intervention at the right time, we can stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
preventing mother to child transmission