U.N.-Led Joint Report Examines HIV/AIDS Among Young People Ages 10-24

An estimated 2,500 young people are infected with HIV every day worldwide, and young women and adolescent girls are most at risk of contracting the disease because of biological and social factors, according to a report released on Wednesday by a group of international agencies, RTT News reports. The report, titled “Opportunity in crisis: Preventing HIV from early adolescence to young adulthood,” was jointly published by UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, ILO, WHO and the World Bank (6/1).

In 2009, 41 percent of new HIV infections in those over age 15 occurred among youth between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the report, the Associated Press notes (Bryson, 6/1). Five million people ages 15 to 24 were living with HIV in 2009, down 12 percent from 2001, the report said, according to Agence France-Presse (6/1).

“The agencies note that early adolescence is a window of opportunity to intervene, before most youth become sexually active and harmful gender and social norms that increase the risk of HIV infection are established,” the U.N. News Centre writes (6/1). The report’s “[r]ecommendations included providing young people with information and comprehensive sexual education, increasing the number of adolescents who know their HIV status, establishing laws and policies that respect young people’s rights, and strengthening monitoring, evaluation and data reporting on this group,” according to PlusNews (6/2).