Preventing STI/HIV Infection
Key Element of Youth Reproductive Health Policy
By now, few doubt the centrality of young people in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Half of the 14,000 new infections that occur each day are in the 15-24 age group, with young females disproportionately affected. In the generalized epidemics of southern and eastern Africa, 10% or more of youth are infected with HIV, with heterosexual transmission by far the most likely route of infection. The concentration of new infections amongst the young has created immense health problems and threatens the economic and social underpinnings of those countries hit hardest by the epidemic. In addition, over 100 million young people each year contract curable STIs.
HIV prevention efforts aimed at young people focus on the following goals:
Read the fact sheets for a more in-depth discussion of this and other key elements.
- Access to education and information
- Access to condoms
- VCT [fact sheet available]
- STI Management [fact sheet available]
- Care and support for PLHA
- Orphans and other vulnerable children
- Reducing stigma and discrimination
HIV/AIDS Policy Database. This searchable database of national policies includes several targeting youth.
Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. In June 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS laid out international goals specific to youth access to information and services to combat the epidemic.
Preventing HIV/AIDS in Young People. This 2006 WHO review provides evidence-based recommendations for policy-makers, programme managers, and researchers.
Report Cards: HIV Prevention for Girls and Young Women. The Report Cards are UNFPA advocacy tools aimed at increasing and improving the programmatic, policy, and funding actions taken on HIV prevention for girls and young women. Available for Jamaica, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Philippines, the Report Cards include analysis of relevant national legal and policy provisions.