An educator from the Alliance Biblique de Côte d’Ivoire conducts a public health lesson on AIDS in the sanctuary at Jerusalem Parish United Methodist Church in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire in this November 2008 file photo. Preventive education is among the topics that will be discussed during the United Methodist Global HIV/AIDS Committee West Africa Summit May 19-21 in Abidjan. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
By Linda Bloom
May 16, 2019 | UMNS
A 2017 report jointly published by UNICEF and UNAIDS, showed that West and Central Africa lagged behind in HIV prevention and treatment for children and adolescents. In 2016, an estimated 60,000 children were newly infected with HIV in West and Central Africa, with the highest number among those aged 15 to 19 years.
In addition, the use of life-saving antiretroviral therapy among children living with HIV is the lowest in the world, the report said, because of the limited capacity to perform the tests needed for early infant diagnosis of HIV.
The West Africa summit was proposed by Patrick Abro, a United Methodist missionary in Congo who served on the Global AIDS Committee from 2008 to 2016. Previous educational forums sponsored by the committee have taken place in East Africa (Nairobi), the Philippines (Manila) and the United States (Indianapolis).
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