Women: At the Heart of the HIV Response for Children

A report examining HIV and AIDS throughout the lifecycle of the child and mother



Throughout the world, women have disproportionately borne the impact of HIV, as caregivers and recipients of care. In sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the greatest number of people living with HIV, 60 per cent of people living with HIV are women. Adolescent girls and young women are particularly impacted. Without effective prevention of HIV, they are likely to pass along the virus to their babies, continuing the cycle of infection to the next generation. This report examines HIV and AIDS throughout the lifecycle of the child and mother – pregnancy and infancy, childhood, and adolescence – and showcases the important role of women in the HIV response for children. It tells a compelling story about successes achieved over the course of the epidemic, the difficulties encountered and the challenges overcome, and what lies ahead on the continuing road to ending AIDS for children and for all.

Cover of report "Women: At the Heart of the HIV Response for Children"



Publication date





Download the report

(PDF, 3,97 MB)

Every three minutes a teenage girl is infected by HIV

Young mothers living with HIV in South Africa work with mothers2mothers at the Soshanguve Health Centre. The international NGO trains and empowers mothers living with HIV to become ‘Mentor Mothers’ working in understaffed health centres.

“HIV thrives among the most vulnerable and marginalized, leaving teenage girls at the centre of the crisis.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore

Celebrating women

Find out more about women leading the charge on HIV response

Link to video on it's hosted site.
Women who have contributed to the report “Women: At the Heart of the HIV Response for Children” talk about how they came to the issue and their hopes for the future.

“You don’t get to choose the most urgent global crisis of your lifetime. You just get to choose whether you rise to meet its challenge”

Lucie Cluver, Oxford

UNICEF publications straight to your inbox

Get the latest data, research and analysis on the issues affecting children around the world.

Browse all UNICEF publications

Discover our latest reports and explore by topic.