Children with HIV/AIDS in the developing world are missing out on treatment because too little of the funding made available by donors reaches them, according to speakers at the International AIDS Conference held in Mexico last week. Only 6 to 10 per cent of infants needing therapy were receiving it, compared with 30 per cent of adults, partly because too few infants were being tested for the infection, which can be passed on by mothers not receiving anti-retroviral treatment.
Dr Linda Richter, a psychologist in South Africa, said that in the developing world much of the money for children in AIDS programmes went to consultants and overhead costs. It would be more effective, and more efficient, to give money directly to families and to communities, she said, adding that poor people have shown that they make good decisions about getting food and other provisions.
Michel Sidibe, an official of the UN Aids programme, said that 1.5 million children had died of AIDS in the past five years and that 15 million had lost one or both parents to AIDS. An estimated two million children under the age of 15 are living with HIV. ~ New York Times, August 7