HIV/AIDS: A major public health predicament in Africa
A large percentage of children in Africa acquire HIV-1 infection from their mothers (vertical transmission). As per the data published by UNAIDS : About 36.7 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS at end of 2016. Out of these approximately 2.1 million are children under the age of 15 years. In the year 2016 it is estimated that approximately 1.8 million people got infected with HIV which amounts to almost 5000 new cases per day. Most of the children infected with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa and were infected by vertical transmission (pregnancy and childbirth) or breast feeding. It was estimated that only around 70% of the HIV infected individuals are aware of their retro-positive status. This leaves the 30% of the HIV positive population a major source of perpetuating the infection and a major public health challenge for the screening programs. Testing for HIV forms a major element of HIV prevention strategies and ultimately to the treatment and care of HIV patients.