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Second decade – Preventing HIV infection among adolescents

© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1379/Pirozzi
Two young people participate in a peer education training on HIV prevention in the township of Khayelitsa, South Africa.

In 2011, there were an estimated 1.2 million adolescents 10-19 years old living with HIV in Eastern and Southern African, more than half of all HIV-positive adolescents globally. 

During the past 10 years, with intensified investments in prevention and treatment, HIV prevalence among young men and young women showed a decline in almost all countries in the region, especially in Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. 

The percentages of adolescents living with HIV vary widely across the region, but the risk of becoming infected is disproportionately higher for young women than for young men in every country except in Madagascar. 

Among young women, estimated prevalence in 2011 was as high as 12–15 per cent in Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland. 

Knowledge of AIDS amongst adolescents is still surprisingly low. On average, among the 15-19 years old, only about 39 per cent of males and 34 per cent of females demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of AIDS, with only two countries exceeding 50 per cent: Namibia and Swaziland.





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