2 The number of adolescents dying due to AIDS-related illnesses tripled between 20, the only age group to have experienced a rise.3 In 2016, 55,000 adolescents between the ages of 10-19 had died through AIDS-related causes.4AIDS is now the leading cause of death among young people in Africa and the second leading cause of death among young people worldwide.5 The majority of young people living with HIV are in low- and middle-income countries, with 84% in sub-Saharan Africa.6 In fact, half of the 15 to 19-year-olds who are living with HIV in the world live in just six countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.7 In 2016, 73% of new HIV infections among adolescents occurred in Africa.8Many African countries already have youthful populations - for example, 51% of the population of South Sudan are under the age of 18.9 It is estimated that the number of 10 to 24-year-old Africans is set to rise to more than 750 million by 2060.This means that, even if current progress is maintained, new HIV infections among young people are expected to increase.Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries.
Child marriage is a key driver of early sexual debut, and in some settings up to 45% of adolescent girls reported that their first sexual experience was forced.28 Condom use among young people and adolescents remains relatively low.
Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa between 20 report less than 60% of young women (aged 15 to 24) with multiple partners used a condom during their last sexual intercourse in 19 of 23 countries.
In 15 out of 23 countries there were similar results for young men.29 The number of sexual partners young people have is falling, although it remains high in countries most affected by the HIV epidemic.30 For example, more than a quarter of young men in Lesotho, Madagascar and e Swatini are thought to be in multiple relationships.31 Intergenerational sex (when young people have sexual relationships with older people) is thought to be an important driver of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
Older partners are more likely to be living with HIV, therefore risking exposure to young people, and are more likely to expose a young person to unsafe sexual behaviours such as low condom use.32 In many instances, age-disparate sexual relationships take place between older men and young or adolescent women and are transactional in nature, in that they are motivated by the implicit assumption that sex will be exchanged for material support or other benefits.33 34 Young people may also belong to other key affected populations such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs or transgender people.
A catalogue of posters and messages that have appeared between 19, created on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IBBY is also available.
Explore this page to find out more about young people’s vulnerability to HIV, young people and key populations, barriers to effective prevention programmes, treatment and support for young people, and what the future might hold.
If progress stalls, the results could be devastating.
Estimates suggest that as many as 740,000 additional adolescents could become infected between 20.10 The medical advances that have transformed HIV treatment have yet to alter the stark reality for young people, particularly in low to middle-income countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, and young people within key populations.
Adolescence and early adulthood is a critical period of development when significant physical and emotional changes occur.
Adolescents and young people have growing personal autonomy and responsibility for their individual health.