More Positive Living - Strengthening the Health Sector Response to Young People Living with HIV

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An estimated 5.4 million young people (NGOs) that work with YPLHIV or support 15 to 24 years old are living with HIV. There are no good estimates for 10-14 year olds, but their numbers are likely to increase as more and more children infected with HIV have access to life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy (ART). At the same time, for young people who become infected during adolescence, efforts to make HIV testing more available are likely to increase the numbers who know they are infected. The health sector needs to be clear about its role in addressing the needs of young people living with HIV (YPLHIV). Young people have different needs from children and adults, and require different approaches to meeting these needs. They will also have different needs from each other depending on their age and sex, and how they became infected. To increase understanding, identify gaps and obstacles and make practical recommendations to improve the role of the health sector in the provision of care, support, treatment and prevention for YPLHIV, WHO & UNICEF convened a global consultation in Malawi, 13 to 17 Nov. 2006. There were more than 45 participants from 18 countries at the meeting, including health workers, young people living with HIV, and representatives from UN agencies and nongovernmental organisations that work with YPLHIV or support programmes designed to meet their needs. The young people and the health care providers present at the consultation reached good consensus on how to strengthen the health sector response to YPLHIV.

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