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Children, Adolescents Sidelined In HIV Prevention

The Ministry of Health and Child Care noted that children ( 0-14) and adolescents are always left behind in terms of HIV prevention and treatment in Zimbabwe.

Addressing an International AIDS Society meeting, Dr Owen Mugurungi said children and adolescents are easily left behind with the impact devastating.

“Every child deserves an HIV-free beginning. The Global Plan spurred remarkable progress, reducing new HIV infections among children by 60% in 21 of the highest burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr Mugurungi.

1,3 million people are living with HIV in Zimbabwe with 91 000 being children between the ages of zero to 14 years according to Permanent Secretary of Health And Child Care, Agnes Mahomva.

In 2015 alone, 150 000 children were infected with HIV worldwide despite the elimination of new HIV infections among children being possible.

“When children have an HIV-free start, we must support them to stay that way as they enter adolescence and age into adulthood,” added Dr Mugurungi.

YMeanwhile, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson yesterday donated a sizable quantity of third line drugs to the Ministry of Health and Child Care as part of its efforts to address the Antiretroviral (ART) drug resistance burden prevalence among young people.

Johnson & Johnson senior Director, Global public health, Usheema Maraj De Villers said children  are prone to developing drug resistance hence the need to scale up treatment amongst these age groups.

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