In Sierra Leone, all children living with HIV can be enrolled in antiretroviral treatment free of charge. As of May 2016, only 19 per cent of children estimated to be living with HIV have been enrolled in treatment (according to a UNAIDS and Sierra Leone country update).
Infants and children who are HIV-positive are often not identified early enough to put them on life-saving treatment. According to figures from the National AIDS Secretariat, Sierra Leone has an HIV prevalence rate of 1.5 percent.
To prevent new infections, the National AIDS Secretariat, with support from UNICEF, employs two key strategies: the elimination of mother-to-child transmission and early infant diagnosis.
In addition, UNICEF supports NGOs such as HAPPY Kids and Adolescents (HAPPY) to provide services to children living with HIV and AIDS, orphans of people who have died of the disease or those who are at risk of getting infected with it. To support UNICEF’s work for children living with HIV and AIDS, click here.