'Fewer children are now dying from Aids'

The number of HIV-positive children in Africa continues to rise, but fewer children are dying of Aids as access to treatment has improved, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) was quoted as saying yesterday.

The number of HIV-positive children in Africa continues to rise, but fewer children are dying of Aids as access to treatment has improved, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) was quoted as saying yesterday.

An estimated 1,5million children have become newly infected with HIV-Aids since 2004, Unicef told a meeting of the Paediatrics HIV-Aids Treatment Forum in the southern African kingdom of Swaziland.

At the same time, there has been a decrease in HIV-Aids-related deaths among children, signalling wider access for children to life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs, a South African radio station quoted Unicef's HIV programme advisor, Chewe Luo, as saying.

African countries still need to do more to protect children and adolescents from the pandemic, Luo said.

About 20 countries are attending the three-day meeting on paediatric HIV-Aids in Swaziland ahead of World Aids Day tomorrow.

Swaziland has one of the highest rates of HIV infections in the world. - Sapa-dpa

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