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Deauville Summit - Spousal Program Working lunch on the protection of mothers and children against HIV

27 May 2011

Deauville Summit - Spousal Program Working lunch on the protection of mothers and children against HIV

Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy brought together the spouses of Heads of State and Government attending the G8-Africa Summit in Deauville to a working lunch dedicated to the protection of mothers and children against HIV.

As Global Ambassador for the Protection of Mothers and Children Against HIV and founder of the Born HIV-Free campaign, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy engaged the spouses to support the goal of ending new HIV infections among children by 2015. The luncheon included Michel Sibidé, Executive Director of UNAIDS who also represented Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF in his absence, and Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The luncheon was an opportunity to take stock of the initiatives already undertaken in the field and to reaffirm the need for all partners to work together to eliminate new HIV infections among children.

Speaking at the luncheon, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy stated, “Every year, almost 400,000 children are born with HIV. Over 90% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, today, effective treatment to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child is available and inexpensive. It is unfair and unacceptable that only pregnant women in the richest countries benefit from appropriate medical care and access to treatment. We must mobilize political leaders, the media and the public at large to put an end to this inequity so that by 2015 a new generation can be born HIV free.”

These efforts will continue when world leaders meet in New York from June 8-10 at the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS to chart the future of the global AIDS response.



While 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS case, there are still 2.5 million children living with HIV. In 2009, 370,000 children were newly infected with HIV, nearly 90% of infections occurring during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

Without access to the appropriate care and treatment, one-third of HIV-positive children will die before their first birthday, half of them before the age of two, and 80% of them before the age of five. Only 20% have a chance of reaching adulthood.

In 2009, an estimated 1.4 million pregnant women were living with HIV. In the absence of any intervention, between 25-40% of infants born to HIV positive mothers will be infected with HIV. In 2009, an estimated 260,000 children died of HIV-related causes. Over 90% of these were in sub-Saharan Africa, but Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America are also affected.

Currently, only half of pregnant women living with HIV have access to treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.


Among children, the majority of new HIV infections can be prevented if their mothers are empowered to protect themselves from HIV, access family planning services, and receive HIV treatment during and after pregnancy.

In high-income countries, new HIV infections among infants are almost non-existent, so there is no reason why this situation should differ in low and middle income countries.

In 2009, there were an estimated 15.9 million women aged 15 and over living with HIV worldwide, more than 75% of whom were in sub-Saharan Africa.

The prevention of new HIV infections among children and the early HIV diagnosis and treatment for mothers, their partners and children reduce medical costs and long-term social impact.


Source: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Deauville Summit - Spousal Program Working lunch on the protection of mothers and children against HIV