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World AIDS Day 2016: Urgent action needed for adolescents

© UNICEF/UN042019/Menezes
Mary [name changed], 21, learned she was living with HIV when she found out she was pregnant at 16. She is now pregnant with her second child. Mary went through prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV with her first child who is free of HIV. She is also currently in care to prevent transmission of the virus to her second child. Bouake, Cote d'Ivoire.

New HIV infections among adolescents are projected to rise from 250,000 in 2015 to nearly 400,000 annually by 2030 if progress in reaching adolescents stalls, according to a new report released by UNICEF today.

For Every Child, End AIDS: Seventh Stocktaking Report, 2016 reveals that AIDS remains a leading cause of death among adolescents and urgent action is needed to improve HIV prevention and treatment for young people.

The facts

  • Globally there were nearly 2 million adolescents aged 10–19 living with HIV in 2015.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, the region most impacted by HIV, girls accounted for 3 out of every 4 new infections among adolescents aged 15–19.
  • 1.1 million children, adolescents and women were newly infected in 2015.
  • Every 2 minutes an adolescent (15–19) is newly infected with HIV.
  • More than 100 adolescents (10–19) died of AIDS every day in 2015.
  • 13.4 million children (0–17) have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
  • Remarkable progress has been made in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Globally, 1.6 million new infections among children (0–14) were averted between 2000 and 2015.
  • Despite progress in averting new infections and reducing deaths, funding for the AIDS response has declined since 2014.
© UNICEF Video
Discover Livey’s incredible story of hope after discovering she was HIV-positive and pregnant at just 17.


In a world where life-saving treatment exists, children should not be dying because of AIDS.

What needs to happen

  • Invest in innovation, including locally grown solutions.
  • Strengthen data collection.
  • End gender discrimination including gender-based violence, and counter stigma.
  • Prioritize efforts to address adolescents’ vulnerabilities by providing combination prevention efforts including pre-exposure prophylaxis, cash transfers and comprehensive sexuality education.

Take action

Join us on #WorldAIDSDay to raise awareness on why the world must act now to end AIDS #foreverychild.





Read the full report

Find out more about the issue at

Read the press release



"The world has made tremendous progress in the global effort to end AIDS,
but the fight is far from over – especially for children and adolescents.”

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake


Learn more

Meet some of the children and adolescents who have been affected by HIV/AIDS.


When he was around 15, Kawee found out he was HIV positive. Today he is healthy and training to be a peer educator in Thailand.


An HIV positive youth activist, Yana runs Teenergizer, a youth organization supporting teens with HIV in Ukraine.


After enroling in a prevention of mother to child transmission programme, Queen gave birth to beautiful Neo who tested negative for HIV.



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