, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 159-168
Date: 07 Apr 2013

Reducing HIV and AIDS in Adolescents: Opportunities and Challenges

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Abstract

Adolescents are critical to efforts to end the AIDS epidemic. Few national AIDS strategies explicitly program for children in their second decade of life. Adolescents (aged 10–19 years) are therefore largely invisible in global, regional, and country HIV and AIDS reports making it difficult to assess progress in this population. We have unprecedented knowledge to guide investment towards greater impact on HIV prevention, treatment, and care in adolescents, but it has not been applied to reach those most vulnerable and optimize efficiency and scale. The cost of this is increasing AIDS-related deaths and largely unchanged levels of new HIV infections in adolescents. An AIDS-free generation will remain out of reach if the global community does not prioritize adolescents. National AIDS responses must be accountable to adolescents, invest in strengthening and monitoring protective and supportive laws and policies and access for adolescents to high impact HIV interventions.