WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

UNAIDS calls on youth activists to respond creatively to AIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS called on youth activists on Monday to use their leadership and creativity in the response to AIDS.

UNAIDS said on Monday, which was International Youth Day, that there were significant achievements in the response to the HIV epidemic for youth and adolescents. The organization said much more should be done to involve youth.

"As agents of change, young people must claim their right to health and be part of the decision making processes that will impact their lives," Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAIDS, said.

Young people are the beneficiaries of HIV services and play an important part as leaders and partners in the AIDS response. UNAIDS recently expanded its youth program and established the Youth Advisory Forum to channel the voices and opinions of young people into important UNAIDS initiatives.

Approximately 4.6 million young people worldwide are living with HIV, with approximately 2,300 young people becoming newly infected each day. Many young individuals with HIV do not know their HIV status or have access to treatment. Age-related restrictions prevent young people from accessing sexual and reproductive health services in some countries, including HIV testing and condoms.

UNAIDS brings together 11 U.N. organizations and works closely with national and global partners to ensure the best results for AIDS response.