Though significant strides have been made in the global AIDS response, emerging evidence suggests that adolescents are falling behind because they are not receiving the attention and services they require.
According to UNAIDS, AIDS-related mortality among adolescents has increased by 50 percent over the past seven years, while it fell for all other age groups. Two out of three people aged 0–14 lack access to HIV treatment worldwide, and recent data collected from sub-Saharan Africa indicate that only 10 percent of young men and 15 percent of young women (15–24 years) are aware of their HIV status.
To advance the adolescent treatment and care agenda, UNAIDS, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+) and PACT brought together key treatment actors, United Nations and youth organizations and networks of young people living with HIV. During the two-day meeting, held on 16 and 17 April, participants analysed the main obstacles affecting adolescents in the AIDS response and charted an action agenda to ensure that adolescents are not left behind.
There is an urgent need to ensure that adolescents living with HIV become aware of their status and have access to effective HIV treatment and quality care programmes. Furthermore, adolescents face particular challenges to adhere to HIV treatment, lack support to disclose their status and there is an absence of information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
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