The Issue

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The Issue

Fighting HIV and AIDS

Our region is seeing one of the steepest increases in the spread of HIV and AIDS worldwide.

The epidemic is fuelled by risky behaviour – mainly drug use and unsafe sex – particularly among marginalised groups such as intravenous drug users, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and populations on the move. Increasingly, infection is spreading from these groups through their partners to more young people. Even within these groups, HIV has a young face.

Across the region, young people face poverty, unemployment levels that are three times higher than among adults, trafficking in drugs and humans, economic migration and violence. Youth poverty, unemployment and lack of hope fuel the trades in people and drugs that feed the HIV epidemic. While they are the most vulnerable, young people are the least likely to know the risks or how to avoid them, least likely to have access to the services that they need and least likely to be adequately protected by policies and laws.

The share of female infections is rising, leading to more HIV infection among pregnant women and their infants. More children in the region are being abandoned by vulnerable young mothers who are HIV positive and injecting drugs. Evidence of rising sexual transmission raises fears that the region is heading for a more generalised epidemic.

Last update: 17 August 2015

Latest articles

Life-saving HIV treatment for adults and children arrives in Ukraine
GENEVA/KYIV, 17 August 2015 – The first consignment of vital antiretroviral medications for adults and children living with HIV in conflict-affected zones in eastern Ukraine arrived by air in Ukraine today. Further consignments will follow shortly.

UNAIDS, UNICEF and partners launch All In campaign to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents
NAIROBI/KYIV, 17 February 2015—While major advances have been made in almost every area of the response to HIV, progress for adolescents is falling behind, said leaders in the global response to end the AIDS epidemic.

Georgia joins UNICEF campaign to #imagine a better world for children
TBILISI, 30 November 2014 - Georgia kicked off the UNICEF #IMAGINE campaign at a special event organized at the biggest mall of the capital Tbilisi. The campaign is part of celebrations for 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Eastern European and Central Asian countries promote better access to HIV testing for adolescents on World AIDS Day
TBILISI/GENEVA, 1 December 2014 — A European Union (EU)-UNICEF conference on “Good practices in working with vulnerable adolescents, reducing their HIV risks and building their resilience” is being held in Tbilisi, Georgia.

UNICEF: 1.1 million HIV infections in children averted since 2005
NEW YORK, 28 November 2014 – An estimated 1.1 million HIV infections among children under 15 have been averted, as new cases declined by over 50 per cent between 2005 and 2013, according to data released by UNICEF today ahead of World AIDS Day.



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