300,000 children newly infected with HIV in 2020 – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund has revealed that at least 300,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2020, which translates to one child every two minutes.

A report released by UNICEF on Tuesday to commemorate World AIDS Day disclosed that another 120,000 children died from AIDS-related causes during the same period, or one child every five minutes.

According to the report, in Nigeria, 20,695 children aged zero to nine years were newly infected with HIV in 2020 – or one child every 30 minutes.

The latest HIV and AIDS Global Snapshot warned that a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic was deepening the inequalities that had long driven the HIV epidemic, putting vulnerable children, adolescents, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers at increased risk of missing life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services.

The UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, said, “The HIV epidemic enters its fifth decade amid a global pandemic that has overloaded health care systems and constrained access to life-saving services.

“Meanwhile, rising poverty, mental health issues, and abuse are increasing children and women’s risk of infection. Unless we ramp up efforts to resolve the inequalities driving the HIV epidemic, which are now exacerbated by COVID-19, we may see more children infected with HIV and more children losing their fight against AIDS.”

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