Friday, June 10, 2011

First Ladies to Help Stop New HIV Infections Among Children

On the opening day of the UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS, June 8th, thirty First Ladies from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean joined together to gain support to achieve the goal of zero new HIV infections among children by 2015.

The First Ladies aim to promote comprehensive health care for women and children to ensure that children are born free from HIV infections. Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS pointed out the importance of addressing the health of women and children. “When women protect themselves from HIV, they protect a whole new generation from HIV,” he said.

In many places around the world, HIV-positive women are denied the right to give birth because the possibility of the disease transferring to the child. Even with these precautions, around 1000 babies are infected with HIV each day. Every woman should have the right to give birth to a healthy child.

The First Ladies have decided to support a 10-step plan to reach the 2015 goal. This includes efforts to increase health centers providing free health services, and focus on treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to children.

This is an important and promising step for the world to fight this disease, and by 2015, win the fight.

-Sami Ressler