Two young sisters who lost their mother to HIV and AIDS walk home arm-in-arm after school.
Equalize: World AIDS Day December 1, 2023
Save the Children invests in childhood and gives children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. Our vision is to create a world with no new HIV infection, no preventable AIDS-related deaths and end all HIV-related inequalities well in line with 2023 World AIDS Day slogan i.e., “EQUALIZE”.
- Our HIV programs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mali, Myanmar, and Nepal support expanded access to comprehensive HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services for children, women, families and vulnerable populations affected by HIV.
- Our programs prevent maternal and pediatric HIV infections by implementing strategies to eliminate mother-to-child transmission.
- We prevent new HIV infections in women of childbearing age through a combination of biomedical (including PrEP where available) and behavioral interventions, as well as others that address social, economic, and structural determinants that influence HIV prevention and transmission.
Some Children are Born with HIV and AIDS
There has been great progress in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV largely because of increased access to PMTCT-related services and the increased number of pregnant women living with HIV being initiated on antiretroviral therapy. Newer and more effective medicines have also played a great role in reducing mother-to-child transmission. However, the progress has not been fast enough to reach the 2020 targets set by UNAIDS.
Save the Children is working globally towards a world where people, especially children and youth, live without fear of contracting the HIV virus, suffering from HIV-related stigma and discrimination, have equal access to all HIV-related services and live with zero AIDS-related deaths. Our programs are implemented around the world – across four continents to support children, women and vulnerable communities.
Lucia’s Story: AIDS Robbed Her of Her Childhood
Lucia is a beautiful young girl who appears to be like any other nine-year-old child you'd meet in rural Mozambique in southeastern Africa. Although most families tend small plots of land to make about one dollar each day, the children laugh, play games and eagerly attend school. But Lucia was forced to bear the burden of adulthood far too soon. Her mother died due to complications of HIV and AIDS. HIV and AIDS rates are staggering in Mozambique – accounting for almost 25% of all deaths.
Orphaned children like Lucia suffer the most.
When Save the Children visited her family, Lucia's mother pulled her daughter close and said, “Lucia, when I die, just take care of your sister.” A few months later, Lucia's mother lost her battle and died from HIV and AIDS complications. Lucia was left all alone to raise her little sister Hilaria. Without the care and guidance of our caring workers in the field, these beautiful young girls will be lost to a life of severe poverty.
As we mark World AIDS Day, we honor children like Lucia and are working hard to spare other children from her fate. We’re fighting the spread of HIV through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. In partnership with local governments, mothers can access nurse-initiated antiretroviral therapy – a lifesaving treatment to keep the infection at bay and prevent babies from being infected. As AIDS wreaks havoc around the world, Save the Children works tirelessly to support and care for the millions of orphans and vulnerable young ones like Lucia and Hilaria.
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