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Youth and HIV/AIDS

 Youth and HIV/AIDS

The HIV/ AIDS pandemic has affected the world very badly. The statistics for the diseases keep on rising year after year. In 2011 thirty four million people were infected and living with HIV/AIDS. Youth have been hardly hit by this pandemic with 40% of new infections occurring among young people 15- 24 years old in 2009. These high infection rates are mostly rooted on women and young children due to sexual abuse.

The root cause of HIV/AIDS spread among youth is lack of knowledge about the disease and on the other hand it is their ignorance. Those who lack knowledge are mostly from developing countries, Sub Saharan region more especially where numbers of infections are really high as compared to other regions. The ignorant youth are the ones who have all the information and resources to protect themselves from the disease but still they choose not to. There are many ways that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted like unprotected sexual intercourse with a partner who has the virus, blood transfusion, and through mother to child at birth.

Youth affected by HIV/AIDS tend to be stigmatized by their societies which end up compromising their human rights to freedom, education and career opportunities. Most societies still shame HIV infected young people hence they find it hard to speak out and come out as patients. Effects of HIV/AIDS include high numbers of orphaned children and loss of skilled personnel. Several recommendations have been suggested in the report on how young people can be saved from this disease. Education sterns as the main one followed by increment in provision of ARVs to help prolong the lives of patients.
Governments, media, NGOs, and private sector are all hands on the fight against HIV/AIDS. Youth has also shown their concern through several actions for the purpose of minimising the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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