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Essay Recommends Expanding Pediatric HIV Agenda

In an essay published in PLOS Medicine, Scott Kellerman, global technical lead for HIV at Management Sciences for Health, and Nandita Sugandhi, clinical adviser at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, examine the global plan to eliminate new HIV infections in children and keep their mothers alive, as well as pediatric HIV treatment. “The elimination of pediatric HIV agenda, or the Global Plan, calls for decreasing new pediatric infections by 90 percent and halving maternal deaths from HIV and AIDS by 2015,” they write, adding, “While high-level rhetoric is necessary to mobilize resources, the strategy to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT) has thus far focused primarily on the expansion of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) with little attention focused on infected children or those missed by current programming.” The authors conclude, “A new and more expansive agenda must be articulated” to reach these children and “address challenges around reducing vertical transmission and ensuring access to appropriate HIV testing, care, and treatment for all affected children” (8/27).