Vertical transmission of HIV occurs from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. UNAIDS reports that in 2022 about 130,000 new HIV infections occurred among children globally. Eastern and Southern Africa region has witnessed a notable decline of 61% new HIV infections among children, nonetheless the rate of vertical HIV transmission after breastfeeding is still estimated to be 8.6% underscoring the need to support mothers and parents to adopt safe pregnancy and breastfeeding practices and ensure zero vertical transmission during this period.
GNP+ in collaboration with ICW, Y+ Global, and Prevention Access Campaign, is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2023 to raise awareness on the optimisation of HIV treatment to end vertical transmission of HIV. We shall engage parents in consultations this week to inform and learn from our communities lived experiences.
We plan to utilise the findings from the consultation together with scientific evidence of Undetectable=Untransmissible (U=U), and the guidance from the recently launched WHO Policy brief on Viral suppression for advocacy, to promote safe pregnancy, safe breastfeeding and healthy quality lives for children of mothers and parents living with HIV.
These efforts will strengthen community led advocacy to address legal, social, cultural, and economic barriers that prevent access and adherence to treatment, and attaining the highest possible quality of life.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is celebrated on 1-7 August every year. This year the theme is “Enabling breastfeeding: making a difference for working parents”. WABA coordinates the global World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) campaign that aims to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise action on breastfeeding and related issues. WBW was started in 1992 to generate public awareness and support for breastfeeding.
‘End Paediatrics AIDS In Children’ – EPIC is an advocacy initiative that aims to build stronger partnerships, harness advocacy messages collaboratively, and ensure heightened visibility for issues of paediatrics and children affected/infected by HIV in global, regional, and country-level platforms of influence.
Guided by the new GNP+ strategic plan, ‘For Our Health and Rights,’ strategic priority two on our health and well-being, The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) treatment access work is strengthened by the collaborations and joint partnerships with our sister networks; International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global).