Paediatric HIV care and treatment
Nearly 335,000 people living with HIV were reported to be receiving Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) in June 2010. Only 25,000 of these were children under 15 which represents only one third of the estimated number of children who are in need of ART.
Early infant diagnosis of HIV is a crucial step in the continuum of care, and is essential for ensuring children receive the treatment they need. Currently, due to insufficient training and lack of accessible equipment, only about one in five HIV exposed children are tested for HIV by age of eight weeks and this significantly limits their access to care and treatment.
What UNICEF is doing
In order to strengthen Paediatric AIDS interventions in Tanzania, it is important to accelerate Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) services, to prevent loss to follow up of mother-baby pairs and to ensure that care or treatment interventions are available.
UNICEF works with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to expand and strengthen early HIV diagnosis and treatment, including provision of EID Test kits and supplies, facilitation of transport of the blood samples and results from health facilities to and from testing laboratories (only four laboratories conduct the testing in Tanzania), training of health workers, support for follow up of HIV exposed children to reduce loss to follow up and improved referral for HIV infected children to access treatment.