UNFPAState of World Population 2003
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State of World Population
Overview of Adolescent Life
Gender Inequality and Reproductive Health
HIV/AIDS and Adolescents
Promoting Healthier Behavior
Meeting Reproductive Health Services Needs
Comprehensive Programmes for Adolescents
Giving Priority to Adolescents
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HIV/AIDS and Adolescents

Contributing Factors
Regional Differences
Impact of AIDS on Young People
Social Marketing of Contraceptives
Services for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care

Impact of AIDS on Young People

ADOLESCENT ORPHANS Youth who have lost one or both parents to AIDS (see Chapter 1) are particularly vulnerable to infection themselves. Many face exploitation, including physical and sexual abuse. With weakened family support, some engage in risky sexual behaviour or inject drugs. Those forced to live on the streets may turn to sex work and crime as a means to survive.(28) After suffering the emotional toll of losing their parents, many also face stigma and discrimination.

EDUCATION Young people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS frequently have their schooling disrupted.(29) Dropping out is common, particularly for girls who have to care for sick family members or their siblings to keep the family together. Inability to pay school fees also forces boys and girls to leave school. Others drop out because of stigma and discrimination by schools, teachers or classmates.

Teachers are also succumbing to HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS estimates that in 2001 as many as 1 million children and young people in sub-Saharan Africa lost their teachers to AIDS.(30)

Growing up without an education has lifetime effects. Survey data from countries around the world show that when parents are not alive, children ages 10-14 are less likely to be in school than are children of the same age whose parents are alive. In Madagascar, for example, the percentages of orphaned children ages 10-14 in school is 34 per cent compared to 65 per cent of non-orphaned children. In Indonesia, the percentages are 65 and 85, respectively.(31)


In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) endorsed the ABC approach to preventing HIV infection. The ABC approach to behaviour change gives three clear messages for preventing the transmission of HIV. ABC stands for: Abstain from having sexual relations or, for youth, delay having sex; Be faithful to one uninfected partner; and use Condoms consistently and correctly.

Sometimes D, for Drugs, is added to the message, referring to intravenous drug use and recreational use of alcohol, which can increase the likelihood of unsafe sex. Some also refer to ABC+, which includes the message to get tested and treated for STIs (which increase the risk of transmission of HIV in unprotected sex). Each component of the ABC message should be presented in a comprehensive and balanced way. (See Chapter 4.)See Source

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