Sexual and reproductive health and rights information, education and evidence-based data are critical to ensuring that young people know how to protect themselves from HIV and access HIV testing and treatment.
The 2020 UNAIDS global fact sheet see here, highlighted that around 5,500 young women aged 15–24 years become infected with HIV every week. In sub-Saharan Africa, five in six new infections among adolescents aged 15–19 years are among girls. Additionally, young women aged 15–24 years are twice as likely to be living with HIV than men.
LUIZ LOURES, the UNAIDS deputy executive director recently underscored the need to focus on young people. The more constraints young people face in accessing information, the more we risk an upsurge of new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and HIV-related stigma and discrimination, he said. At Baylor-Uganda we utilise evidence-based strategies to support children and young people including; those at risk, those living and affected with HIV/AIDS.
As a sub-recipient of funds from the Global Fund, Baylor-Uganda has empowered adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in 14 districts in Uganda see more. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Uganda has also supported Baylor-Uganda in implementing adolescent centred approaches in their ongoing comprehensive projects in both Fort portal (mid-western Uganda) and Bunyoro (west-western Uganda) regions.
“Young people first” – as they are empowered to discuss issues that affect them, and come up with tailored solutions that address their local challenges. We believe we can change the tide of new infections not only within the regions we serve but also nationally and globally.