Young People and HIV/AIDS

In many regions of the world, new HIV infections are heavily concentrated among young people aged 15 to 24. In 2006, young people accounted for 40 percent of new HIV infections.

According to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the future course of the world’s HIV epidemics hinges largely on the behavioral patterns young people adopt or maintain and the social, cultural and other contextual factors that affect these decisions.

UNESCO is one of the co-sponsors of UNAIDS and is the lead organization for HIV prevention with young people in education institutions. It is also a main partner in prevention for young people in out-of-school environments, and is thus committed to integrating the specific needs of youth in all stages of planning, implementing and evaluating HIV and AIDS policies and programmes.

  • developing appropriate and up-to-date educational, information and advocacy tools in cooperation with young people and their organizations in order to facilitate access to clear, culturally appropriate and non-judgmental information and education for all young people;
  • advocating for appropriate learning opportunities for young people (including HIV prevention, access to care and treatment education, life skills) by drawing on the potential of both formal and non-formal learning environments;
  • mobilizing partnerships with young people and youth and student organizations in order to involve and empower youth to make informed choices, take action and develop responsible attitudes and behavior; and
  • supporting initiatives fostering meaningful youth participation in HIV and AIDS policy and programming at all levels.

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