Cambodia | HIV orphan receives ARV treatmnent in MAGNA centrum. Copyright by Martin Bandzak/MAGNA

In 2006, WHO estimated that 2.5 million children under the age of 15 were living with HIV/AIDS, and every day 1,200 children were infected. Without treatment, half of these children are dying before their second birthday. 

MAGNA provides ARV treatment and treating HIV/AIDS patients since 2002.

The HIV virus is transmitted by blood and body fluids and gradually weakens the immune system - generally during a period between three to ten years- resulting in acquired immune deficiency syndrome - AIDS. As the immune system weakens, the body develops an amount of opportunistic infections. Tuberculosis is the most common opportunistic infection leading to death.

A simple blood test can confirm HIV status, but many people live for years without symptoms and may not know they had been infected with AIDS. The combination of drugs known as antiretroviral (ARV) helps to fight the virus, reduce spreading of the infection and allows patients to live longer, healthier lives without rapid deterioration of the immune system. As an addition to the treatment, general programs of MAGNA usually include educational and awareness activities, condom distribution, HIV testing, counselling and prevention of transmission of the virus from mother to child (PMTCT). PMTCT services involve the administration of ARV during pregnancy and childbirth and administration of these drugs to child right after the birth. Children living with AIDS are one of the greatest tragedies and challenges in the fight for control of this disease.

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