A journey to end HIV/AIDS by 2020
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is preventable and has been virtually eliminated in low-income countries. With timely access to quality care and life-saving antiretroviral drugs, it is possible to keep HIV positive mothers alive and their children HIV free. However, mothers in developing countries are far too often deterred from seeking preventive treatment due to social stigma and overstretched, under-resourced health systems. Approximately half of HIV-positive pregnant women do not receive any medication or information on how to prevent transmission to their infants.
Johnson & Johnson understands that eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV requires significant cross-sector collaboration, and since 2003, the Company has committed more than $35 million to efforts aimed at eliminating HIV/AIDS. Alongside partners, including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and mothers2mothers, Johnson & Johnson has focused on building capacity of health leadership at all levels, providing women with the tools and information to care for their families, and increasing support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV.
Building on this work Johnson & Johnson pledged an additional $15 million in 2011 to support the Global Plan Towards the Elimination New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive by diverse stakeholders. The Global Plan, a strategy to scale up efforts to end the AIDS epidemic, sought to reduce the number of new HIV infections among children by 90 percent and reduce the number of AIDS-related maternal deaths by 50 percent in 22 countries by 2015.
A report recently released by UNAIDS and PEPFAR titled, On the Fast-Track to an AIDS-Free Generation, reveals major successes stemming from The Global Plan, including a 60% decline in new pediatric HIV infections since 2009, shown in the figure below.
Despite tremendous gains in treatment coverage and reductions of new infections and AIDS-related deaths, major steps still need to be taken to eliminate HIV among children. In 2015, 110,000 children were newly infected with HIV in these 21 Global Plan priority countries, and 150,000 worldwide, and today, almost half of children living with HIV also do not have access to proper treatment.
To continue the momentum of the Global Plan, UNAIDS and PEPFAR launched a new initiative - Be Free: Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS-Free introducing a framework for the urgent work ahead, elevating and amplifying key initiatives that are already accelerating progress for children, adolescents and young women. This framework will focus global actors around the most critical, innovative, and proven methods in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (EMTCT).
With the end of the Global Plan and the launch of Start Free, Stay Free, Aids Free, Johnson & Johnson remains committed to creating an AIDS-free future and will continue play an active role to achieve the ambitious goal first set by the Global Plan of ending the AIDS epidemic among children, adolescents and young women by 2020.
For more information on the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free initiative, please visit the website: Be Free: Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS-Free