On this World AIDS Day I’m calling on young people around the world to stand up and be counted. The negotiations on the post-2015 development framework have begun – and it is clear that we need to put young people centre stage.
There is no doubt that the AIDS response has yielded tremendous results for young people – HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa among young women and men aged 15-24 has fallen by 42 percent over the past decade and young people increasingly know their HIV status.
But there is no time for complacency. Every hour more than 85 young people become infected with HIV. And as AIDS-related deaths continue to fall amongst adults and children estimates show that they have actually increased by 50 percent among adolescents since 2005.
Right now we have a real opportunity to craft an innovative new development framework that fulfils not only the needs of young people but includes the needs of youth who are the most marginalized.
On this World AIDS Day, I urge youth activists around the world to join #ACT2015, a global network of young people working to help craft an innovative narrative on AIDS that inspires action. For the post-2015 world, we need a new wave of activism, led by young people, to end the AIDS epidemic. Visit http://www.crowdoutaids.org/wordpress/ for more information.