Thursday, May 20, 2010

Born HIV Free

Jane Dreaper Health correspondent for BBC News (May 19, 2010)

Pledge to stop mother-to-baby HIV spread


A campaign is being launched to try to enlist public support to ensure no more children are born with HIV by 2015.
It is the work of the Global Fund, which uses donations from governments to fight HIV, TB and malaria.

The Born HIV Free campaign comes at a critical time, with the fund seeking donations of up to $20bn over the next three years.
It recognizes this will be a battle, as governments deal with the aftermath of the Greek financial crisis.

HIV can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, labor or breast-feeding.
This type of transmission has been almost wiped out in countries such as the UK, because pregnant women who test positive for the virus that causes AIDS can be treated with drugs.
Other measures - such as giving birth by caesarian section - help stop HIV being transmitted to the baby.

But in developing countries, 430,000 children are born with HIV every year.

The Global Fund already channels more than half of international resources used to prevent mothers passing on HIV.
It believes that the goal of ending this type of HIV transmission by 2015 is achievable - if governments feel they can pledge money with the support of their electorates.

Its executive director, Professor Michel Kazatchkine, said: "We can win this battle against Aids if we get the funding we require.
"This campaign is intended to encourage people to sign up in support of the Global Fund, and to show their leaders that there is strong public support to continue and increase funding for its mission."

The campaign has been overseen by the French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who is an ambassador for the Global Fund.
Her voice urges people to lend their support in a series of films, with music by Amy Winehouse and U2, which are being promoted on the internet.

The logo has adapted the visual imagery of the red ribbon - long associated with AIDS awareness - to symbolize a mother and child.

Link to Born HIV Free

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