Adolescents as the next focus for global HIV/AIDS campaign by Catherine Sozi
– Director for UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa , Catherine Sozi spoke exclusively to Olabisi adesina of Alternativeafrica.com on the progress made in East and Southern Africa, the place of Africa in the new global campaign and gaps in achieving the 90-90-90 target by 2020 launched by UNAIDS and Partners
London, September 16, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Some years back , adolescents were a forgotten population in the global HIV response . More often than none, programmes and services were targeted at Women, Children and Babies while young people only had access to very limited services like information and testing facilities.
Unfortunately, every day, approximately 1,600 young people are infected with HIV, while one young person dies of AIDS-related illnesses every 10 minutes. Young women aged 15-24 otherwise referred to as adolescents, are particularly affected.
In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely to be infected with HIV as their male counterparts. And young key populations (including gay men, bisexual people, transgender, young sex workers and young people who inject drugs) are at a high risk of HIV around the world.
Director for UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa , Catherine Sozi spoke exclusively to Olabisi adesina of Alternativeafrica.com (AltAfrica)
They face rights violations, discrimination, exclusion, criminalisation and violence. Of the young people living with HIV globally, most do not know their status.
But the situation is changing. The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS says it has recognised the significance of including adolescents and making them a target group for an all inclusive and successful campaign
Consequently, UNAIDS is now scaling up programmes to include Young people as it moves towards the end of the 90-90-90 target .