Children: Delivering on Our Commitment
I learned my role in maintaining my health. Since then, I have not missed my clinic appointments and I never skip my medicine. I do all this by myself. I know when I skip taking medicine I will get sick, and my ability to fight other infections will be damaged.
—Gilbert Maiko, boy living with HIV in Tanzania
- Over 13.4 million children are living without one or both parents due to AIDS.
- About 95% of children directly affected by HIV/AIDS live with their extended family.
- 2.1 million children are living with HIV/AIDS, but less than half have access to treatment.
- Nearly 2 million babies have been born HIV-free with PEPFAR support.
Children are our future. As the world’s largest donor responding to the needs of children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR is committed to supporting these children with the clinical and social services they need to survive, thrive, and become healthy and productive adults.
PEPFAR has been a leader in driving progress toward eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, reducing AIDS-related maternal mortality, and expanding HIV treatment for children. It will take a combination of these and other interventions to reach the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat.
Orphans and Other Children Affected by HIV/AIDS
PEPFAR contributes 10 percent of all program funds to mitigate the physical, emotional, and economic impacts of HIV/AIDS on children. We strengthen partner countries’ health and social welfare services and systems through a multi-sectoral approach that focuses on child protection, health and nutrition, education, household economic strengthening, social protection, and psychosocial care and support.
Worldwide, over 13.4 million children are living without one or both parents due to AIDS. These children are more vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect and are also more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors – increasing the risk of HIV infection. More than 80 percent of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Families, communities, and child welfare systems that are stable, caring, and strong are the best defenses against the effects of HIV/AIDS in the lives of children. PEPFAR supports child-centered, family-focused, community-based, and government-supported orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) programming that targets the full range of OVC needs at different developmental stages. Orphans and Vulnerable Children Fact Sheet»
Children Living With HIV
Globally, there are 2.1 million children living with HIV. Without antiretroviral treatment, 50 percent of children living with HIV/AIDS would die before their second birthday, and 80 percent would die before their fifth birthday. Less than half of children living with HIV/AIDS are accessing life-saving treatment.
PEPFAR is delivering on our commitment to children, helping more of them to start their lives HIV-free and, if they are already infected, to remain AIDS-free and thrive.
PEPFAR and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) jointly invested in the Accelerating Children's HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) initiative, a public-private partnership that has enabled 562,000 children to receive ART in the nine ACT high-priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Saving the lives of children with HIV is more than the right thing to do. It is the best way to cultivate healthy children who can pursue their dreams, grow economies, create jobs, and strengthen their communities for decades to come. PEPFAR works with implementing partners to ensure that the most vulnerable, at-risk children receive appropriate HIV testing and that children who test positive have access to life-saving services. Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS-Free Framework»
Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission
Mother-to-child transmission is the leading cause of HIV infection in children. It remains a major public health problem worldwide, with the greatest burden in sub-Saharan Africa. PEPFAR uses site-specific data to ensure our programs prioritize the highest-burden areas with the greatest need to maximize the impact on babies and their mothers.
PEPFAR invests significantly in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and provides extensive support for the use of lifelong antiretroviral treatment for all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women.
This approach – aligned with World Health Organization Guidelines – leads to the best outcomes for women, their partners, and their children. PEPFAR investments contributed greatly to the 60 percent decline in new HIV infections among children in 21 sub-Saharan African between 2009 and 2015.Thanks to PEPFAR support, nearly 2 million babies have been born HIV-free who would have otherwise been infected.
PEPFAR has publicly opened our data, leading by example to drive greater program efficiency, transparency, coordination, and mutual accountability. With the PEPFAR Dashboards, you can explore PEPFAR's global investments and achievements in responding to the HIV epidemic. Take a look at the slideshow below to learn more about how PEPFAR is making an impact in the global HIV response.
Partnerships and Initiatives
Featured Stories and News
- After Losing His Mother to AIDS, HIV-Positive Boy Finds Hope
- Helping Mothers Have HIV-Free Babies
- For featured stories and news prior to Jan. 20, 2017, please see https://2009-2017.pepfar.gov/priorities/children/index.htm.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
- Children Fact Sheet
- Presentation Slide Deck: Children
- Orphans and Vulnerable Children Fact Sheet
- 2012 PEPFAR Guidance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programming
- U.S. Government Action Plan for Children in Adversity
- Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
Children Living With HIV/AIDS
- Accelerating Children's HIV/AIDS Treatment Initiative (ACT) Fact Sheet
- All In: A platform for action against the adolescent