International Year of Youth - Fact Sheet - HIV and Young People

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The AIDS epidemic poses one of the most formidable challenges to the world at large. In 2008, young people accounted for 40 per cent of all new HIV infections in people aged 15 years and older. Of the 33.4 million people living with HIV around the world, 4.9 million are between the ages of 15 and 24. Experience over the past decade has demonstrated how to address HIV among young people. In countries with concentrated epidemics, programmes and resources must focus on youth who engage in risky behaviours, including injecting drugs, selling sex and men having sex with men. In countries with generalised epidemics, where the general population is at risk, all vulnerable young people, particularly young women, need to be targeted. Evidence shows that sex education helps in containing the spread of HIV by delaying the onset of sexual activity and encouraging safer sexual behaviour.

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