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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.
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.
Young people (10 to 24 years) and adolescents (10 to 19 years), especially young women and young key populations, continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV.
In 2016, 2.1 million people aged between 10 and 19 years were living with HIV and 260,000 became newly infected with the virus.1 The number of adolescents living with HIV has risen by 30% between 20.
In 15 out of 23 countries there were similar results for young men.29 The number of sexual partners young people have is falling, although it remains high in countries most affected by the HIV epidemic.30 For example, more than a quarter of young men in Lesotho, Madagascar and e Swatini are thought to be in multiple relationships.31 Intergenerational sex (when young people have sexual relationships with older people) is thought to be an important driver of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
Older partners are more likely to be living with HIV, therefore risking exposure to young people, and are more likely to expose a young person to unsafe sexual behaviours such as low condom use.32 In many instances, age-disparate sexual relationships take place between older men and young or adolescent women and are transactional in nature, in that they are motivated by the implicit assumption that sex will be exchanged for material support or other benefits.33 34 Young people may also belong to other key affected populations such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs or transgender people.Adolescence and early adulthood is a critical period of development when significant physical and emotional changes occur.Adolescents and young people have growing personal autonomy and responsibility for their individual health.Every week, 7,500 young women across the world acquire HIV.13 Young women are more than twice as likely to acquire HIV as young men, every year since 2010 they have made up 67% of new infections among adolescents.14 15 and in some regions the difference between genders is particularly stark.For example, in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, young women are up to eight times more vulnerable to HIV than young men.16 HIV also disproportionately affects young men who have sex with men, young people who use drugs, young transgender people and young sex workers.Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD.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.In Asia, 95% of young people diagnosed with HIV fall into at least one of these groups.17 Young people are vulnerable to HIV at two stages of their lives; early in the first decade of life when HIV can be transmitted from mother-to-child, sometimes known as vertical transmission (see children and HIV), and the second decade of life when adolescence brings new vulnerability to HIV.Around 70% of adolescents living with HIV will have acquired it through vertical transmission and so will have been living with the virus since birth.18 Whilst programmes to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) have been hugely successful in recent years, reducing new infections among adolescents is more difficult.19 There are many factors that put young people at an elevated risk of HIV.