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Caritas Internationalis is joining hands with UNAIDS, PEPFAR and Caritas Nigeria in supporting a regional consultation on the theme “Early Diagnosis and Treatment for HIV-positive Children: Strengthening Engagement of Faith-Based Organisations”.

Visit the consultation website

There will be 200 participants and experts from all parts of the world, coming together in Abuja, Nigeria on 14-16 June for the consultation. Faith-based actors will be at the forefront, plus a broad consultation among stakeholders in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

At the end of 2015, there were an estimated 1.8 million children aged 0-14 years living with HIV.

“Nearly 110,000 children died of AIDS related illnesses in 2015, equal to 2,100 children dying per week,” said a UNAIDS report in December 2016. “Significant challenges remain in scaling up early infant diagnosis, tracking mother-infant pairs, identifying older children living with HIV, providing treatment with the most optimal formulations and in a timely manner, and retaining them in care.”

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There is a need to promote wider engagement of national faith-based organisations, national authorities and pharmaceutical companies in the diagnosis and treatment of children living with HIV.

During the course of the consultation, special focus will be placed on the situation of paediatric HIV (“AIDS Free”), with strong emphasis on the need for early diagnosis and treatment of HIV-exposed children.

Several high level speakers are scheduled to address at the meeting, including the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, the Minister of Public Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr Oly Illunga Kalenga, as well as the Minister of Health and Child Care of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr David Parirentyatara.

Twitter handle: @FBAction4Kids and hashtag is still: #Faiths4AIDSFreeKids