Children, HIV and AIDS: Regional snapshot - Latin America and the Caribbean (December 2018)
Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean is the region with the highest HIV incidence rate among adolescents aged 10–19 years, and key indicators show only limited progress in meeting their HIV prevention needs. Since 2010, for example, the estimated 19,000 new HIV infections annually among 10- to 19-year-olds is essentially unchanged. The situation is roughly the same among younger children. Levels of HIV treatment coverage for children aged 0–14 years living with HIV have increased, but slightly, and the estimated number (3,500) of children aged 0–9 who were newly infected with HIV in 2017 is only slightly lower than in previous years.
Continued stalled progress in the region will hinder efforts to sustain achievements to date or to make the necessary gains towards ending HIV as a threat among children and adolescents. However, there are signs pointing to areas where concentrated efforts could have significant impacts: Early infant diagnosis (EID) coverage rates that have changed only slightly since 2014 and estimates that 61 per cent of new HIV infections among children aged 0–9 years in 2017 occurred during pregnancy or delivery indicate notable gaps in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programmes, including access to testing for newborns and pregnant mothers.
Meanwhile, it is evident that improving results among adolescents requires greater focus on boys, who in 2017 accounted for about 60 per cent of all new HIV infections among those aged 10–19 in the region. Between 2010 and 2017, the annual number of new HIV infections among boys in that age group fell by only 5 per cent compared with a decline of 10 per cent among girls