By Yunus S Saliu
The report indicated that an estimated 250,000 (150,000-360,000) adolescent girls and young women acquired HIV in 2021 82% of them living in sub-Saharan Africa, this was disclosed in the newly launched UNAIDS World Aids Day Report 2022 titled Dangerous in Equalities.
The above according to the report is translates into 4,900 new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women every week.
So, the world is far off track from achieving the goal of reducing the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women below 50, 000 by 2025.
However, the report noted that one of the most serious of all HIV-related inequalities is the disproportionate effect of HIV among adolescent girls and young women (aged 15 to 24 years). “Especially in sub-Saharan Africa home to 57% of all people who acquired HIV in 2021 transmission among adolescent girls and young women is preventing countries from making swifter progress towards ending AIDS as a public health threat.
Adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa are three times more likely to acquire HIV than their male counterparts, according to the report, in sub-Saharan Africa, new infections among adolescent girls and young women declined by 42% between 2010 and 2021, while among males of the same age, the decline in new infections was 56%.
“Globally, adolescent girls and young women are notably more likely to acquire HIV than males their own age, although this disparity is primarily driven by the extraordinary disparities in HIV incidence among young people in sub-Saharan Africa,” the report added.
Getting on track to end AIDS, as stated, will require a substantial strengthening of HIV prevention efforts that are focused on adolescent girls and young women. “The absolute number of young people aged 15 to 24 years in sub-Saharan Africa will increase from 225 million to 350 million between 2021 and 2040, demanding effective and efficient interventions to ensure that the large number of adolescent girls and young women are protected from HIV and able to rise to their full potential,” the reported added.