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© UNICEF Brazil/2005/Bonacini
A staff member with a group of HIV-positive children, at the UNICEF-supported ‘Viva Rachid’ project in Recife, Brazil. ‘Viva Rachid’ works to ensure that children living with HIV are cared for and integrated into their families, schools and communities.

BRASILIA, Brazil, 22 November 2005 – At the launch of the UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS Campaign today in Brazil, the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and other partners made several important commitments to helping children and adolescents in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The partners committed themselves to ensuring that young people have access to the information they need to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS; to ensuring the realization of the right to universal access to medication by people living with AIDS; and to ensuring that no child is born with HIV/AIDS in Brazil after 2008.

© UNICEF Brazil/2005/Page
The National Director of Brazil’s Sexually Transmitted Infections/AIDS program , Pedro Chequer, and UNICEF Representative in Brazil Marie-Pierre Poirier, at the launch of UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS in Brasilia.

Testing and prevention

In Brazil, the vast majority of children under 15 years of age who die from AIDS-related illnesses contract HIV through mother-to-child transmission. The availability of ‘rapid’ HIV tests for pregnant women will be increased, in order to alert pregnant women to their status and make it possible for them to undertake appropriate treatment, if necessary. Together with the government and UNAIDS, UNICEF will help train health workers in related skills.

UNICEF has provided 50,000 ‘rapid’ HIV tests for all pregnant women in the Brazilian states of Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Bahia, Pernambuco, Paraiba, Alagoas and Piaui, where access to pre-natal care and HIV testing is lowest.

The Brazilian government, UNESCO and UNICEF are supporting an adolescent prevention programme in schools. The programme will reach 7 million students before the end of 2006 with a questionnaire to help them assess their own vulnerability and motivate them to protect themselves against AIDS.













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