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Global campaign aims to stop mom-to-baby HIV spread

baby fingers.jpg

An estimated 430,000 children are born with HIV each year, and most are infected by their ill mothers. Now, a global campaign is aiming to eliminate mother-to-child transmission worldwide within five years.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of the French president, helped launch the Global Fund's BORN HIV FREE campaign, which is designed to mobilize public support and raise money for the cause. She writes:

Burkina Faso, where I travelled last year, is showing what can be done. In one of the poorest countries in the developing world, I met HIV-positive mothers with their healthy babies. I met pregnant women waiting for the results of their HIV tests or to receive preventive AIDS treatment. I met doctors and nurses who no longer felt like helpless bystanders in the AIDS epidemic but had become healers now that they have the tools they need.

If it can be done in Burkina Faso, there is no reason why the same cannot happen in Nairobi, in Lima, in Phnom Penh and Bangalore, as well.

The Global Fund, which was created in 2002, provides 25 percent of all international funding to combat HIV/AIDS. BBC reports that the organization is seeking donations of $20 billion for this new campaign.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

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