HIV and young people who inject drugs

Technical brief

No. of pages: 34

Publication Date: October 2015

Author: Interagency Working Group on Key Populations

Key populations at higher risk of HIV include people who sell sex, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people and people who inject drugs. Young people who belong to one or more of these key populations – or who engage in activities associated with these populations – are made especially vulnerable to HIV by factors including widespread discrimination, stigma and violence, combined with the particular vulnerabilities of youth, power imbalances in relationships and, sometimes, alienation from family and friends. These factors increase the risk that they may engage – willingly or not – in behaviours that put them at risk of HIV, such as frequent unprotected sex and the sharing of needles and syringes to inject drugs.

This brief aims to inform discussions about how best to provide health services, programmes and support for young people who inject drugs. It offers a concise account of current knowledge concerning the HIV risk and vulnerability of young people who inject drugs; the barriers and constraints they face to appropriate services; examples of programmes that may work well in addressing their needs and rights; and approaches and considerations for providing services that both draw upon and build the strengths, competencies and capacities of young people who inject drugs.

See the other technical briefs in this series:

HIV and young men who have sex with men
HIV and young people who sell sex
HIV and young transgender people

Related content

News
DAKAR, Senegal – Youths from nearly 90 countries resolved to lead the crusade against HIV/AIDS all over the world, in adopting the Dakar Youth Empowerment Strategy at the end the Fourth World Youth Forum of the United Nations System, held in the Senegalese capital, from 6 to 10 A
Press

I am very happy to join all of you here today. Meeting reproductive health supply needs is a key element of the global effort to improve people’s lives by protecting their reproductive and sexual health. Given the increased international attention now being paid to slowing...

Press

President Obasanjo; Mr. Chairman; Excellencies, Heads of State and Government; distinguished delegates; ladies and gentlemen:

It is an honour for me to address a conference of the OAU, for the first time since assuming my responsibilities as Executive Director of...

Pages