HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, our body’s natural defense against illness. If HIV is left untreated, a person’s immune system will get weaker and weaker until it can no longer fight off life-threatening infections and diseases.
HIV And Youth
Currently, over 30% of all new HIV infections globally are estimated to occur among youth ages 15 to 25 years. Also, increasingly, children infected at birth grow into adolescents who have to deal with their HIV positive status. Combining the two, there are 5 million youth living with HIV.
Young people’s risk of becoming newly infected with HIV is closely correlated with the age of sexual debut. Abstinence from sexual intercourse and delayed initiation of sexual behavior are among the central aims of HIV prevention efforts for young people. Decreasing the number of sexual partners and increasing access to, and utilization of comprehensive prevention services, including prevention education and increasing access to condoms are essential for sexually active young people.