Over 2,000 children die from AIDS in 2007

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The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) has estimated that 2,333 children under-15 died of AIDS-related diseases in 2007.

For
the same year, over 5,000 children were estimated to be in need of
antiretroviral therapy (ART) but only 597 received treatment.

Documents
made available to the GNA in Accra also indicate that for the same
year, almost 17,000 children under-15 were estimated to be living with
HIV.

Dr. Akwei Addo, Programme Manager of NACP, told the
GNA that the figures, which were estimates, were arrived at through
various models and surveys, including the sentinel survey.

He
said it was difficult and expensive to diagnose the HIV status of
children until they reached between 18 months and two years.

He said the difficulty had to do with distinguishing between the antibodies of the child and those of the mother.

Dr
Addo said it took time for the mother’s antibodies to clear from the
child’s system after delivery at which time testing for HIV was likely
to run into some challenges.

He said children diagnosed with HIV were given the same treatment as adults but with different dosages and treatment regimen.

Dr Addo said there were 92 antiretroviral treatment centres spread across the country.

Source: GNA