Statement from John Miller, Director of the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS

Toronto, CA, May 9, 2016 – The new report from the United Nations Secretary-General, On the Fast-Track to end the AIDS epidemic, underlines the need to step up action to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. While the report rightly highlights the importance of focusing on vulnerable populations, the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS (the Coalition) believes that children — who are among those vulnerable populations and who are unable to advocate on their own behalf — require greater attention. Our concern was reinforced with the lack of explicit reference to children in the press release announcing the new report.

Ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is within reach. But in order to do so, we must first scale up access, treatment, care and support for children and adolescents. With progress for these populations lagging, the Coalition drafted The 2016 HLM on HIV’s Political Declaration: What we need to see on PMTCT, Paediatrics, Children & Adolescents, identifying critical gaps that must be filled in order to meet the world’s deadline for defeating the epidemic:

  • The elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT);
  • Pediatric treatment;
  • HIV-sensitive care, support and social protection;
  • Support for caregivers; and
  • Stigma elimination.

While the Secretary General’s report noted some of these gaps — in particular, that which exists between pediatric and adult HIV treatment; and the continued need to reach the EMTCT goals set out in the Global Plan — we need to see a more urgent and comprehensive approach. The fragile nature of gains made for children are likely to be reversed without careful and sustained attention.

As the 2016 High-Level Meeting’s Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS draws closer, the Coalition is calling for commitments to ambitious pediatric and adolescent treatment and prevention plans, but also for increased focus on the care and support of HIV-affected children and adolescents and those who care for them. We also ask that stakeholders and partners be brought to the table to ensure that these plans have the greatest chance of success in the places where they are most needed. Only by setting urgent, inclusive, targeted goals, will we be able to achieve important progress for children, adolescents, and their caregivers. In so doing, we will help to drive toward the end of the epidemic by 2030.



About the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS

The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS is an independent, funder-driven collaborative of independent, unincorporated public and private funders, re-granting organizations and technical experts from both the global North and South. For over a decade, we have sought to bring focus, broad perspectives and expertise to address gaps in knowledge and service systems in order to improve the lives of children and families in the HIV and AIDS epidemic.