70,000 children infected by HIV in India
Kolkata: An estimated 70,000 children are infected with HIV in the country and the ailment is caused to most of them by parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT), according to a recent finding by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
Participants of a UNICEF-state AIDS Prevention and Control Society seminar here said, quoting NACO estimates, that a small proportion of these children are infected by unsafe injections and blood transfusions.
"UNICEF supports the government in its effort to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS outbreak in India to reduce the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children," the country chief of UNICEF, HIV and AIDS, Ivonne Camaroni said on the sidelines of the seminar yesterday.
With 21,000 children infected every year through PTCT, the UNICEF wanted to provide strategic supplies of drugs and commodities, improve the capacity of staff by developing innovative communication approaches for prevention and care and helping to improve monitoring and reporting systems.
The possible factors behind infection of children were mother-to-child transmission, blood transfusion and HIV positive mothers not having availed prevention facility during pregnancy, Camaroni said.