Fight against HIV/AIDS




© UNICEF/Djibouti/ Pirozzi/297.JPG


In the Republic of Djibouti, the cohort of children, adolescents and young people under 25 represent over 50% of the population. Despite the application of the 2001 Act making school attendance compulsory until age 16, adolescents aged 13 to 18 remain the less schooled with a percentage of 59% of non enrolment in secondary schools.

In Djibouti, non-formal education opportunities are still very marginal. Therefore several young people aged 18 to 24 with poor skills can’t qualify for specialized jobs. They represent a significant proportion of the unemployed persons, especially in urban areas. In rural areas, where about 20% of the population of Djibouti lives, adolescents and young people live in quite similar conditions as those in towns.

With low access to cultural and spare-time activities, to job opportunities and to adequate trainings, many of these out-of-school adolescents and young people are relatively very early exposed to the risk of khat, alcohol and drug consumption as well as to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV / AIDS. Reports say boys have their first sexual intercourses at age 16 and girls at 17 years old. Only 44% of young people aged 13 to 24 years say they use condoms at first sexual intercourse.

With a seroprevalence rate of 2.9% within the general population, Djibouti is one of the two countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at a stage of generalized epidemic.

In Djibouti, young adults aged 15 to 34 years are the most affected by HIV (6%). This is alarming since a study conducted in 2006 among adolescents and young aged 15 to 24 years, showed that knowledge and positive practices as regards the protection against the spread of AIDS are not sufficient.


UNICEF Djibouti seeks to contribute to the national response to fight against HIV / AIDS within the framework of prevention within the 13-24 age group of adolescents and young people, through following actions:

• Support the implementation of the National Youth Policy through the participation of adolescents and young people; strengthen the emergence and development of youth organizations, especially in organizing social, sporting and cultural activities.

• Assist preteens, teenagers and young people to enhance their Lifeskills, in and outside educational structures, with the aim to develop psychosocial skills necessary to protect them against drugs and HIV / AIDS.

• Support the improvement of access to basic social services for adolescents and young people, including the facilitation of guidance and promotion of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT).


Through the HIV / AIDS program in Djibouti, UNICEF aims at assisting the Government to reduce the spread of the disease; stop and reverse the current trend within adolescents and the youth. Furthermore, this program also intends to contribute to the youth participation and development.

• Between 2008 and 2012, actions undertaken to improve access to basic social services and strengthen adolescents and young people’ s psychosocial skills, have gradually helped to stabilize the rate of HIV among adolescents and youth and has begun to reverse 2008’s trend.

• Between 2008 and 2012, actions undertaken to strengthen the implementation of the Youth Policy and to develop youth organizations have contributed to set up an institutional associative frameworks as well as appropriate mechanisms for adolescents and youth’s development and leadership.



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