Young people, especially young women and adolescent girls, access combination prevention services and are empowered to protect themselves from HIV

In 2020, an estimated 400 000 young people aged 15–24 years and 150 000 adolescents (10–19 years) newly acquired HIV.  In sub-Saharan Africa, 6 in 7 new HIV infections among adolescents aged 15–19 years are in girls. With 4,200 new HIV infections occurring weekly, adolescent girls and young women in that region are particularly affected, due to the effects of harmful gender norms and gender inequalities, including violence against women. While 84% of people living with HIV globally knew their HIV status in 2020, only 25% of adolescent girls and 17% of adolescent boys aged 15–19 years in eastern and southern Africa were tested for HIV in the past 12 months and received the result of the last test. Adolescent girls living with HIV outnumber adolescent boys living with HIV by two to one. Only one third of young people have comprehensive HIV knowledge, with lower levels of knowledge among young women compared to young men.

Of the estimated 1.7 million children living with HIV globally, only 54% were receiving life-saving ART in 2020. To achieve epidemic control and an AIDS-free generation of adolescents, urgent efforts are needed to strengthen HIV prevention for young people, with a focus on multisectoral initiatives that effectively reach them and address social and structural inequalities, including unequal gender norms and gender inequality.

To address this, in 2021 the Joint Programme accelerated its efforts to build high-level commitments to address HIV among adolescent girls and young women, including the Education Plus initiative. It also addressed the needs of young people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and elevated comprehensive sexuality education on global, regional and national agendas. The Joint Programme further focussed on innovative HIV prevention, education and information approacheds for young people as well as strengthening efforts to leverage the power of communities to promote youth empowerment.

Find more details in the SRA report. 

Outputs 2016-2021

3.1Targeted combination prevention programmes defined and implemented
3.2Country capacity to meet the HIV-related health and education needs of young people and adolescents strengthened




Targets and Milestones 2021 Progress
Percentage of countries with targeted combination prevention programmes in place

2021: 70%

2019: 60%

2017: 50%

41% [36/87]

Percentage of Fast-Track countries that are monitoring the education sector response to HIV and AIDS

2021: 70%

2019: 60%

2017: 50%

FT: 70% [23/33]

Percentage of Fast-Track countries with supportive adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health policies in place

2021: 90%

2019: 90%

2017: 85%

FT: 91% [30/33]

Data source: 2021 JPMS country reports data.