UN: UN launches 'All In' initiative to end adolescent AIDS

New York, US (PANA) - A UN meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday launched a new global
initiative that aims to end the second leading cause of death among young people worldwide,
stressing that, in the fight against HIV/AIDS, progress for adolescents has fallen behind.

PANA learned that more than 200 young advocates and leaders from adolescent and
youth movements were present at launch of the 'All In' initiative.

According to the UN, while major advances have been made in almost every area of the
response to the human immunodeficiency virus, just one in four children and adolescents
under the age of 15 have access to life-saving treatment, and deaths are declining in all
age groups, except among 10-19-year-olds.

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake spoke at the launch
of the new platform for action to drive better results for adolescents encouraging
changes in policy and engaging young people in the effort.

He said: "Children and young people should be the first to benefit from the progress we have made in ending the epidemic, not the last."

Mr. Lake  said the 'All In' initiative, a partnership between the Joint UN Programme on
HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and UNICEF, aims to reach adolescents with HIV services designed
for their specific needs and to fast-track progress to advance global efforts to end the
AIDS epidemic by 2030.

"We need to reach the adolescents we are missing and engage all young people in the
effort to end adolescent AIDS. In fact, we cannot achieve the goal of an AIDS-free
generation without them," he stressed.

On his part, UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr. Michel Sidibe, said: "HIV is the leading
cause of death among adolescents in Africa and young women are most affected.

"This is a moral injustice. I am calling on young people to lead the 'All In' movement,
alongside the United Nations, public and private partners, and countries themselves,
to end the adolescent AIDS epidemic."

He noted that new HIV infections among adolescents were not declining as quickly as
among other age groups. "Adolescent girls are most affected, and in South Africa, for example, more than 860 girls became infected with HIV every week in 2013, compared to 170 boys," he said.

Mr. Sidibe added that new data released in 2014 showed infections have risen among groups
of at-risk young people, namely those involved in sex work, those injecting drugs,
and young men having unprotected sex with men.

Meanwhile, UNAIDS has set new Fast-Track Targets to be achieved by 2020 for
adolescents that include reducing new HIV infections by at least 75 percent, reducing
AIDS-related deaths by 65 percent, and achieving zero discrimination.

The UN agency said achieving these targets would put the world on track towards
ending adolescent AIDS by 2030 and ending the global AIDS epidemic as a public
health threat.

It said most of the 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV in 2013 became infected at
least 10 years ago, when their mothers were pregnant, during delivery or in the first
months of life – at a time when anti-retroviral medicines that can greatly reduce the
possibility of HIV transmission were not available.

UNAIDS, however, said many were never diagnosed, or fell out of treatment and care
programmes.
-0-  PANA AA/AR 17Feb2015

17 february 2015 19:32:29




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