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Post-2015 Negotiation Briefs #3: Youth and HIV

Publication year: 
Author (s): 
Anyango, L. Melles, M. Thompson, K. Watson, K.
Publication details: 
Geneva:UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS , 2014

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, nearly 78 million people have
been infected with the HIV virus and about 39 million have died of HIV. At the
end of 2013, there were 35 million people living with HIV globally.1 Of these,
2.1 million were adolescents aged 10-19 the majority (56%) of which are
adolescent girls. In 2012, adolescents and young people accounted for 39%
of all new infections.2 Adolescence is a period of experimentation and new
experiences. Many individuals begin to explore their sexuality at this time.
However, adolescence is also a period of vulnerability and as a result, access to
age appropriate sexual and reproductive information and services is important.
Many of the activities individuals engage in during adolescence are high risk
and increase the chances of acquiring HIV. Research also shows about 66% of
young people lack comprehensive knowledge of HIV.3 Lack of knowledge on
HIV and an increase in high-risk behaviour leaves adolescents more susceptible
to acquiring HIV.