Since those frightening early days of the AIDS epidemic, when few survived an HIV diagnosis, the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in the mid-1990s dramatically altered our ability to manage HIV infection. After AIDS-related mortality peaked in 2004, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42%.
But 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. Even as AIDS-related mortality overall decreased in recent years, AIDS-related deaths among adolescents increased by 50%. AIDS, in other words, is far from over, especially for young people. Infection is still a real and continuing threat for them.
The world needs to know about the socio cultural factors that influence the spread of HIV and that there are new tools available, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, to fight the disease. Simultaneously, the world also needs to respond and scale up investment in infrastructure to increase access to the tools we know work.
HIV is the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally and the No. 1 cause of death among adolescents in Africa. Adolescent girls and young women are particularly vulnerable, accounting for a startling 91% of new HIV infections among people aged 15-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas young men in the same age group represent roughly 11%.
Source : CNN
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