95000 Adolescents Infected by HIV in India: UNICEF

HIV/AIDS is a dreadful disease, which has already taken away a major share of population in the world and is still continuing to do the same. Despite numerous measures taken, recent studies suggest that this virus is still prevailing, affecting more and more number of people every day. According to the latest global report released by UNICEF and other UN Agencies, an alarming number of young people were found infected by it.

The first ever global report released by UNICEF, UNESCO, UNAIDS, WHO and other UN agencies, “Opportunity in Crisis: Preventing HIV from early adolescence to young adulthood” said that there are around 95,000 adolescents with HIV in India. India has been listed along with the sub-Saharan countries having the highest number of HIV infected young people.

India has been ranked tenth in the list of countries most affected with HIV in the age group of 10-19 years. In this age group, there were 46,000 girls and 49,000 boys infected by HIV in 2009.

South Africa topped the list with 2,10,000 girls and 82,000 boys infected with HIV.

The report says…

  • There are approximately 5 million adolescents between the age group of 15-24, who are affected with HIV in 2009, and most of them are from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • People between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for 41% of new infections among adults in 2009.
  • Globally young women make up for more than 60% of all young people living with HIV.
  • Only in sub-Saharan Africa, there are 72% women who are infected.
  • An estimated 2,500 youth are newly infected with HIV every day, with women and adolescent girls facing a higher risk.

Causes

The report figured out some reasons for the increase in the rate.

  • Sexual transmission and injection drugs are the main reasons for transmission of HIV among young people.
  • The reasons for high number of young women getting affected with HIV are, unemployment and poverty, as they are provoking them to enter in to sex trade.
  • The other reasons are economic pressures, getting neglected, social exclusion, and lack of family support made people to get addicted to drugs.

Progress of prevention

Coming to the implementation of measures taken to prevent HIV, the reports and various findings say that, these measures are working but not at the expected rate. Statistics show that, the number of HIV infected young individuals in 2001 were 5.7 million, whereas in 2009, they dropped to 5 million.

At the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in 2001, countries agreed to cut HIV infection among young people by 25 percent by 2010, but only a 12 percent reduction has been achieved according to the latest reports.

The present situation is very alarming. Sincere execution of designed strategies to curb the spread of HIV infections has to be done, which otherwise may put the lives of many young people on stake. As young people are the leaders of today and the future, it is not the risk any country, for that matter, the whole mankind should take.

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