2 mln teens live with HIV: report

An estimated 2 million adolescents ages 10 to 19 are living with HIV, with 86 percent of them from sub-Saharan Africa, according to a global report on HIV prevention launched in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

For the first time, the world gets to see the number of adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19 living with HIV in the report named Opportunity in Crisis: Preventing HIV from early adolescence to young adulthood.
The report is a jointly publication by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UNAIDS, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labor Organization (ILO) , the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank.
According to the report, people aged 15-24 accounted for 41 percent of new infections over the age of 15 in 2009. Worldwide, an estimated 5 million young people in that age group were living with HIV in 2009. Most of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, young women make up more than 60 percent of all young people living with HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa that rate jumped to 72 percent.
Despite these challenges, the report acknowledges that some progress has been made in preventing new infections among young people.
"In many high-burden countries, HIV prevalence and incidence have declined among young people. While in 2001 there were 5.7 million young people living with HIV, the figure stands at 5 million (in 2009)," said the UNICEF eastern and southern Africa regional director, Elhadj As Sy, at the media briefing.
He pointed that sexual transmission and injection drug use remain the major modes of transmission of HIV among young people. Early sexual debut, early pregnancy and early experiences with drug use all raise risks for HIV infection.
The report reveals that unemployment and poverty are reported as the main reasons young people enter the sex trade. Worldwide, many young people driven by economic pressure, exploitation, social exclusion and lack of family support turn to commercial sex and injecting drug use.
In 2001, the world made a commitment to reduce the prevalence of HIV among young people by 25 percent by 2010. The actual reduction achieved (from 5.7 million to 5 million) is 12 percent, and it represents less than half the target percentage.
"To avoid the current programming failures, we have to adopt a ' Continuum of Prevention Approach'." said Lina Mousa, deputy director of UNFPA Africa Regional Office.
"This continuum of prevention must be reflected in national HIV strategic plans, poverty reduction strategies and global fund proposals. This response must be developed with and for young people so that they own the response together with their communities," she added.
To build this continuum of prevention for adolescents and young people, the reports outlined nine specific recommendations including providing young people with information and comprehensive sexuality education, strengthening child protection and social protection measures, engaging communities in shaping a positive social environment that promotes healthy behavior, establishing laws and policies that respect young people's rights.

    Pre:Coffee Linked to Lethal Prostate Cancer

    Next:E. coli outbreak in Europe is super-toxic strain

    Related Articles