Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Sub-Saharan African countries cut child HIV infections in half

In the world's most affected AIDS region, the sub-Sahara of Africa, seven countries have reduced the number of HIV infections in children by 50 percent in the past four years, said the United Nations AIDS Program. 

There is a 38 percent decrease in 21 priority countries in Africa due to an increase of drug treatment taken by pregnant women whom are infected with the virus 

The seven main countries that cut the HIV infections in half are Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Malawi. 

"The progress in the majority of countries is a strong signal that with focused efforts every child can be born free from HIV," said Michel Sidibé, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

There is still a long way to get there. UNAIDS reported that Nigeria has 60,000 new HIV infections in children since 2012, making it the country with the largest number in the continent. 

The treatment that pregnant women were taking, such as antiretrovial medicines, has prevented the virus from being transmitted to their spawn. However, according to UNAIDS, only half of mothers who breast-feed have taken the antiretroviral treatment, which is problematic because HIV can be transmitted through breast milk. 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus
HIV is a virus that develops into AIDS which can end fatally, as it progressively shuts down the immune system. The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, breast milk and vaginal fluid. According to the World Health Organization, 34 million people are infected with HIV globally. 

Ambassador Eri Goosby, U.S. global AIDS coordinator, remains faithful in the future of reducing HIV.

"We have the tools required to reach the Global Plan's goals, and recent data show that we are moving ever closer to their realization," Goosby said in regards to the improvements in Africa.