A new report launched today by organisations including the World Bank, WHO and UNICEF reminds us that, while the number of new infections globally is believed to have peaked, the statistics surrounding the impact the of HIV on young people remain sobering.
In 2009, 5 million young people globally were living with HIV. 2 million of these were adolescents, aged between 10 and 19 years of age. Most of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.
2500 young people, it is estimated, acquire HIV every single day.
Young women total more than 60% of all young people living with HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa this figure reaches 72%.
In Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States one in 3 new HIV infections occurs in people aged between 15 and 24 years of age.
26,000 young people in the Middle East and North Africa acquired HIV in 2009. In Latin America and the Caribbean the figure was 44,000. The figure for young people living in Asia reached an estimated 90,000.
The report calls for prevention of these new infections by delivery of comprehensive sex education, child protection measures that are enhanced by legal protections, respect for the rights of young people and the scale up of HIV prevention interventions that have been proven to work. It also demands an increase in the number of young people who know, via testing, their HIV status and an expansion of services aimed at young people living with HIV.