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Released for World AIDS Day 2013 the UNICEF led report, "Towards an AIDS Free Generation - the 6th stocktaking report on children and AIDS" provides updated data reviewing the HIV burden of children and adolescents in low and middle income countries. Among its recommendations for strategies to accelerate access to HIV prevention, treatment and care the report commends school based initiatives as a cost effective way to influence vulnerability and provide a key social vaccine.
"Research suggests that HIV education programmes delivered through schools have the potential to influence determinants of behaviour, children and young peoples’ social networks and, over time, their socio-economic status". p37,
Towards an AIDS Free Generation.
Since 2002, the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education's Accelerate Initiative led by the World Bank and technical partners such as
Partnership for Child Development have together supported national government efforts in 37 sub-Saharan African countries to accelerate the education sector response to HIV & AIDS. In 2010 the
Accelerate Initiative reached an important benchmark; all of these countries had national school health policies and 76% of them were working from education specific HIV strategies and plans.
Quoted within the report, UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe says: "This report reminds us that an AIDS-free generation is one in which all children are born free of HIV and remain so––from birth and throughout their lives––and it means access to treatment for all children living with HIV".