2012 Unesco International Essay For Young People

While AIDS related deaths have halved in children since 2010, they have only fallen by 5% in adolescents.11 AIDS, in other words, is far from over - especially for young people.12 Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and structural inequality affect the lives of young people and increase their vulnerability to HIV.IBBY Lithuania is the sponsor for International Children's Book Day 2019.

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Child marriage is a key driver of early sexual debut, and in some settings up to 45% of adolescent girls reported that their first sexual experience was forced.28 Condom use among young people and adolescents remains relatively low.

Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa between 20 report less than 60% of young women (aged 15 to 24) with multiple partners used a condom during their last sexual intercourse in 19 of 23 countries.

Where data exist, limited sample sizes and lack of disaggregation limits the available evidence to inform programming.

In part because of these gaps, adolescents and young people are often missing from national HIV strategic plans, particularly interventions beyond PMTCT.21 Excluding vertical transmission, unprotected sex is the most common route of HIV infection for young people, with sharing infected needles the second.22 For some, this is a result of not having the correct knowledge about HIV and how to prevent it, highlighting the need for HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) education.

2 The number of adolescents dying due to AIDS-related illnesses tripled between 20, the only age group to have experienced a rise.3 In 2016, 55,000 adolescents between the ages of 10-19 had died through AIDS-related causes.4AIDS is now the leading cause of death among young people in Africa and the second leading cause of death among young people worldwide.5 The majority of young people living with HIV are in low- and middle-income countries, with 84% in sub-Saharan Africa.6 In fact, half of the 15 to 19-year-olds who are living with HIV in the world live in just six countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.7 In 2016, 73% of new HIV infections among adolescents occurred in Africa.8Many African countries already have youthful populations - for example, 51% of the population of South Sudan are under the age of 18.9 It is estimated that the number of 10 to 24-year-old Africans is set to rise to more than 750 million by 2060.

This means that, even if current progress is maintained, new HIV infections among young people are expected to increase.Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries.Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children's books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster.These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading.Although secondary analysis from biological and behavioural surveys between 2011–2015 found HIV prevalence among young sex workers to be 28% in Cameroon, 42% in Rwanda, 15% Senegal, and 33% in Zimbabwe.45 Most studies of sex workers do not disaggregate programme outcomes by age, and no accurate global estimates exist of the number of young people engaged in selling sex.Data on the prevalence of 10 to 17 year-olds who are sexually exploited is particularly weak.In general, even fewer data are available on young men and young transgender people who sell sex than on young women who do so.46 Young transgender people’s immediate HIV risk is related primarily to sexual behaviour, especially unprotected anal sex.Some young transgender people also sell sex or inject street drugs, silicon and hormones, putting them at even higher risk of acquiring HIV.Not only do young people from key populations face widespread discrimination, stigma and violence they also face specific vulnerabilities associated with youth, including power imbalances in relationships and, sometimes, the impact of alienation from family.35 Young people within key populations often have lower knowledge of HIV risks, or lower ability to mitigate those risks, compared with their older, more experienced counterparts.36 There is little agreement on how to meet the needs of the significant numbers of young people involved in selling sex.37 There is varying data on the age of entry of children into sexual exploitation and young people into sex work.It is estimated that 40% of female sex workers in North America, East and South Asia begin selling sex before the age of 18.38 In Bangladesh, many start before they reach 12-years-old,39 and in India, studies suggest that 17% of female sex workers began selling sex before the age of 15.40 A 2011 study from Ukraine found that 20% of female sex workers were aged 10-19.41 Research shows that adolescents under 18 who sell sex are highly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), have higher levels of HIV and STIs than older sex workers, and have limited access to services such as HIV testing, prevention, and treatment.42 Young sex workers face many of the same barriers to HIV prevention as their older counterparts including the inability to negotiate condom use and legal barriers to HIV and sexual health services, which are amplified by their age.43 A study of female sex workers in three main urban areas of Mozambique (Maputo, Beira and Nampula) found that young women who sell sex (aged 15 to 17 years) were less likely to access available HIV testing and treatment services.44 Despite their vulnerabilities, young people who sell sex are severely under-represented in research on HIV and sex work.

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