Current status + progress
Slightly more than half of children under 15 years of age living with HIV are on antiretroviral medications
- Of the 1.68 million [confidence bounds: 1.35 million–2.08 million] children aged 0-14 living with HIV globally, only 52 per cent [42–65 per cent] were receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2021.
Globally, children under age 15 account for about 5 per cent of all people living with HIV, 10 per cent of new HIV infections and 15 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths. Children under 1 year of age are among those most vulnerable to HIV. Evidence shows that early initiation of antiretroviral drugs in infants with HIV can save lives; yet coverage of critical intervention among children remains too low. Due to the slow progress reported in scaling up access to treatment for children living with HIV, the 90-90-90 treatment targets, which called for 90 per cent of those living with HIV to know their status, 90 per cent of those who know their status to be on treatment, and 90 per cent of those on treatment to be virally suppressed and sustained, were not met. However, there has been a renewed focus to meet 95-95-95 targets by 2025 including the launch of the Global Alliance to End AIDS in children.
Renewed focus has been called to strategically target more decentralized diagnostics and clinical management for children exposed and living with HIV, as well as integration with maternal, child and adolescent services at facilities and within communities. The 2025 targets underscore the need to remove societal and legal barriers to service delivery, as well as recognize that the HIV response is essential in the wider effort to realize the right to health and other human rights and other goals within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Data sources + methodology
Global AIDS monitoring 2022
In order to monitor the HIV response and progress towards achieving global goals, countries submit national and subnational data on a host of indicators to the Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) system. Annual submissions are reviewed and validated. Data consist of programmatic data for HIV prevention, testing and treatment. Other indicators require data from population-based surveys and surveys focused on key populations at risk of HIV infection.
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UNAIDS Estimates and Spectrum’s AIDS Impact Model
Each year countries update their AIDS Impact Model in Avenir Health’s Spectrum software to develop the latest estimates for the HIV epidemic. Supported by UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF these estimates are used to inform programme and policy decisions for HIV epidemic response.
Methods for HIV modelling are developed by the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections.
All available data on HIV estimates are available at aidsinfo.unaids.org.
Nationally representative surveys
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS), Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIA) reproductive health surveys, sexual behaviour surveys and other nationally representative surveys are currently used to collect data on HIV and AIDS.