Today, the AIDS epidemic is far from ancient history. While the 22nd International Conference on Disease is currently being held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, UNICEF is issuing an alarming report: Young girls are particularly affected. They account for two thirds of infections in 15-19 year olds.
Every three minutes, a teenager is infected with the AIDS virus around the world. This is the alarming report issued by Unicef at the 22nd International Conference on Disease, which is being held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, this week. The United Nations agency has published a report revealing that today, girls aged between 15 and 19 years account for one third of infections.
Between lack of information and domination
Why are they at the heart of this public health crisis? The reasons are multiple. First, UNICEF points to the lack of access to information and prevention in most countries. The most affected geographical area is sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, their place in society makes them more vulnerable. According to Unicef, the spread of the epidemic among girls is explained by "early sexual intercourse, including with older men, forced relationships, the power struggle that does not say no, poverty". As a result, the number of AIDS-related deaths has declined in all age groups since 2010. But it is stagnating among teenagers.
Every three minutes, a teenage girl is infected with HIV. This is preventable. Learn more → //t.co/pHkjcETwu6#AIDS2018 #EndAIDS pic.twitter.com/xAvaD8e1Ge- UNICEF (@UNICEF) July 25, 2018
The risk that the virus passes from mother to child
When these teenagers are affected by AIDS, another danger appears: once pregnant, they transmit the virus to their child. And in this sense, there has been progress since the 1990s. According to estimates by UNAIDS - the United Nations program to fight the epidemic - today 80% of pregnant women in the world who are AIDS sufferers benefit from antiretroviral therapy. The number of children under 4 infected with AIDS has been reduced by one third between 2010 and 2017.