UNICEF World AIDS Day Report: Stolen Childhood, Lost Adolescence

The second World AIDS Day since the start of the global COVID 19 pandemic in early  finds the world still mired in a perilous and uncertain state. The ongoing health crisis has exposed and often widened inequalities at all levels – global, regional, national and subnational – in the availability and quality of vital health care services.  As a result, more people are being left further behind even as the    deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its promise of universal health coverage (UHC) comes closer.

This World AIDS Day, the world should commit to reimagine what normal should be for children and adolescents everywhere and take the steps needed to reach it This would be a world in which HIV is universally controlled and suppressed, so that it is no longer a threat to children; a world in which new HIV infections quickly dwindle to zero; a world where children on RT are cared for effectively and compassionately, and transition seamlessly to adult treatment services; a world where all people living with HIV are virally suppressed over their lifetime.

If we can achieve this ambitious goal, the stigma and discrimination that lies at the heart of almost all inequalities in HIV responses will begin to decline as well  ore time, energy and resources can then be devoted to understanding and addressing other factors that contribute to the inequalities in health and wellbeing that women, children and adolescents have long experienced in much of the world Dynamic, forceful and innovative responses to HIV will once again be at the centre of broader efforts to achieve major health and social change universally.