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

Research shows most young people have inadequate knowledge of their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and lack access to youth-friendly services. This increases their vulnerability to HIV and is one of the reasons behind their disproportionally high HIV rate. An estimated 1.7 million adolescents (10 - 19 years) were living with HIV in 2019 which represents an increase of 1.6 million from the previous year. While this generation was born into the new millennium with knowledge and existing tools to prevent HIV and end AIDS, persistent inequalities, and an inability to address their multifaceted needs still hinder the successful prevention of new infections in this age group.

Adolescent girls and young women are especially vulnerable. In the Eastern and Southern African regions, young women (15–24 years) accounted for 24% of new HIV infections in 2019 despite making up just 10% of the population.

To address this, the Joint Programme continues to focus on the crucial intersections of education, health and gender equality, and responds to young people’s complex realities, including a combination of biomedical, behavioural and structural approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, also reflected in the new Education Plus initiative, co-convened by the executive leaders of the UNAIDS Secretariat, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women and seeking to address the alarming numbers of adolescent girls and young women who acquire HIV, among other threats to their health, rights and well-being.

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 2020 Progress
Percentage of countries with targeted combination prevention programmes in place

2021: 70%

2019: 60%

2017: 50%

39% [34/87]

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

2021: 70%

2019: 60%

2017: 50%

FT: 64% [21/33]

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

2021: 90%

2019: 90%

2017: 85%

FT: 88% [29/33]

Data source: 2020 JPMS country reports data. Final numbers may vary slightly.