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Epidemiology of HIV and AIDS Among Adolescents: Current Status, Inequities, and Data Gaps

Publication year: 
Author (s): 
Idele, Priscilla
Publication details: 
s.l., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014
Publication in: 
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2014;66:S144–S153

Objectives: To examine levels and patterns of HIV prevalence,
knowledge, sexual behavior, and coverage of selected HIV services
among adolescents aged 10–19 years and highlight data gaps and

Methods: Data were reviewed from Joint United Nations Programme
on HIV/AIDS HIV estimates, nationally representative
household surveys, behavioral surveillance surveys, and published

Results: A number of gaps exist for adolescent-specific HIVrelated
data; however, important implications for programming can
be drawn. Eighty-two percent of the estimated 2.1 million adolescents
aged 10–19 years living with HIV in 2012 were in sub-Saharan
Africa, and the majority of these (58%) were females. Comprehensive
accurate knowledge about HIV, condom use, HIV testing, and
antiretroviral treatment coverage remain low in most countries. Early
sexual debut (sex before 15 years of age) is more common among
adolescent girls than boys in low- and middle-income countries,
consistent with early marriage and early childbirth in these countries.
In low and concentrated epidemic countries, HIV prevalence is highest
among key populations.

Conclusions: Although the available HIV-related data on adolescents
are limited, increased HIV vulnerability in the second decade
of life is evident in the data. Improving data gathering, analysis, and
reporting systems specific to adolescents is essential to monitoring
progress and improving health outcomes for adolescents. More
systematic and better quality disaggregated data are needed to
understand differences by sex, age, geography, and socioeconomic
factors and to address equity and human rights obligations,
especially for key populations.