Children and AIDS


What UNICEF is doing

Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT)

Paediatric HIV care and treatment

Protection, care and support of most vulnerable children

Prevention among adolescents and young people

Results for children


Prevention among adolescents and young people

© UNICEF/NYHQ2000-0328/LeMoyne
Young men perform segments of a play about AIDS in front of a crowd, at the official opening of the UNICEF-assisted youth centre in Mazami village, Tanzania.

While almost all young people aged 15 to 24 years have heard about HIV and AIDS, relatively few know enough to protect themselves against infection.

According to 2010 data, among young people aged 15–24 years only 48 percent of girls and 43 percent of boys have comprehensive knowledge of HIV and AIDS.

Comprehensive knowledge increases with education. Almost 60 percent of young people aged 15 to 24 years with secondary or higher education possesses comprehensive knowledge of HIV and AIDS, compared to only 21 percent of youth with no education.

What UNICEF is doing

At the upstream level, UNICEF is working with the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) to conduct a situation analysis of adolescent living with HIV.

The analysis will provide a better understanding of both needs and available services and provide programmatic and policy recommendation on how to better address the identified gaps. UNICEF is also working with TACAIDS on the development of a program design for interventions targeting in and out of school adolescent girls for risk reduction and prevention of HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and sexual and gender based violence.

UNICEF also continues to strengthen the capacity of key implementing partners at the national level and in selected regions for coordination and implementation of the HIV and AIDS response.

At the downstream level, in selected high HIV prevalence regions, UNICEF is working with partners to scale up high impact interventions that will reduce the number of new HIV infections among children and young people.

It is critical that HIV prevention efforts are intensified among young people especially girls to ensure that they remain HIV negative by the time they get pregnant and those who are HIV infected access the necessary prophylaxis and treatment to prevent transmission.

As such, UNICEF is planning to roll out a program that aims to:

  • increase the risk perception of HIV infection among young people
  • increase access to HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) among young people
  • increase access to consistent and correct condom use among sexual active adolescents and young people
  • strengthen the care, support and referral system for HIV infected pregnant women, young people and HIV exposed children.



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