Millionth Baby Born HIV-Free Celebrated On PEPFAR’s 10th Anniversary
This month in sub-Saharan Africa, the one-millionth infant will be born without HIV to a mother living with the virus, “thanks in large part” to PEPFAR, which is marking its 10th anniversary, Agence France-Presse reports. In an interview with AFP, Ambassador Eric Goosby, head of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy and the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, noted the largest drop in mother-to-child HIV transmission has happened since 2009, according to the news agency. PEPFAR, in partnership with UNAIDS and UNICEF, aims to “‘virtually eliminate pediatric HIV by 2015 and keep their mothers alive,’ he said, with aim of reducing the number of babies born with the infection to around 30,000 annually,” AFP writes. “Absent a medical breakthrough leading to a cure, experts are working towards a so-called ‘tipping point’ when fewer people contract HIV every year than the number of people going onto treatments,” the news agency continues (6/18). U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday at a ceremony recognized PEPFAR’s 10th anniversary, according to a State Department media note (6/18).