|© UNICEF/LAOA2011-00104/Phongsay Selisombath|
|Lao People's Democratic Republic: "Open Hearts, Open Airwaves" is a youth-led radio programmes where adolescents discuss topics important to them.|
Young people are at the centre of the global HIV epidemic. It is estimated that 4.8 million young people aged 15 to 24 years were living with HIV at the end of 2011 . Young women are especially vulnerable to HIV and they disproportionately account for 64% of the young people living with HIV worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, the face of the HIV epidemic remains that of a young female between 15 and 24 years of age. The region’s adolescent girls and young women aged 15 – 24 account for almost 70% of all young people living with HIV.
In East and Central Europe, HIV prevalence is on the rise largely because of high levels of unsafe injecting drug use. Many of the affected individuals are young: four out of five people living with HIV in countries of this region are under the age of 30, and one out of every three new infections occurs among young people aged 15-24 . In Asia a large proportion of infections are transmitted heterosexually and in some key countries of the region such as India, the epidemic is driven largely by sex work. In Latin America, people at risk for HIV are primarily men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and young people in difficult circumstances.
Prevention of HIV among young people as well as care and support of those most affected by the epidemic are key components of ADAP’s work. In close collaboration with UNICEF’s Regional and Country Offices around the globe and with other partners, the ADAP team provides technical support towards reaching adolescents who are most-at-risk and those especially vulnerable to becoming infected. It also provides guidance on the special needs of young people living with HIV and AIDS to ensure that they continue to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
Global Guidance on HIV and Young People (UNFPA, UNICEF 2008)
This set of 7 field-tested briefs addresses how various sectors can be called upon to “Know Your Epidemic” and tailor responses that prioritize adolescents most likely to become infected. Implementers as well as advocates will find practical guidance in advocating for effective programming for this population with colleagues in the field, government, donors and civil society.
From the field