Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free is a collaborative framework to accelerate the end of the AIDS epidemic among children, adolescents and young women by 2020. It builds on the successes achieved under the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan) and brings additional focus to the HIV prevention and treatment needs of children and adolescents.
Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free embraces the goals adopted by United Nations Member States in the 2016 Political Declaration on Ending AIDS in taking a life-cycle approach to reach young children, adolescents and young women from the ages of 0 to 24 years to prevent new infections, ensure treatment and promote good health for those living with HIV.
Political leadership and partnerships have been at the heart of driving action. Consultations with a wide range of national partners and stakeholders, community members, young people, women living with HIV, religious leaders, philanthropists, donors and private sector representatives of leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies have all contributed to building global consensus and momentum. With the availability of new diagnostic technologies and innovations in bringing quality services closer to communities, the opportunity and ability to end paediatric AIDS has never been greater. Pioneering efforts in low- and middle-income high-prevalence settings over recent years have demonstrated how these targets can be achieved among children, adolescents and young women.
Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free has given priority to accelerating human rights-based action in a priority set of 23 countries—the majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa— that have among the highest numbers of new HIV infections in children, adolescents and young women. In 2016, these countries collectively accounted for 87% of new HIV infections among children aged 0–14 years, 81% of new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women aged 10–24 years and approximately 87% of all children and adolescents aged 0–19 years living with HIV. The framework focuses on accelerating country-level progress toward ending new HIV infections among children, identifying children and adolescents living with HIV, ensuring their right to access life-saving treatment and quality care, and stopping the cycle of new infections among adolescents and young women by providing access to comprehensive HIV prevention.
Ending the AIDS epidemic among children, adolescents and young women requires ambitious targets and a Super-Fast-Track approach. Start Free Stay Free AIDS Free calls for the immediate and accelerated scale-up of access to treatment, prevention, care and support services in order to achieve ambitious targets for 2018 and 2020 that will produce the maximum impact. This progress report reflects achievements made during the first year of implementation (through December 2016), as countries have taken actions in line with new or existing national strategies. The most recent data on country progress in 2016 are based on country-reported data and country-developed models using Spectrum software that were reported to UNAIDS in 2017.