[:en]Today on December 1st, we mark World Aids Day. Every year this day is aimed at raising awareness around HIV and AIDS. Young people age 10-24 are especially vulnerable to the HIV epidemic – with 430,000 new infections happening every year in Eastern and Southern Africa. According to UNAIDS and the African Union, the HIV prevalence of young women in sub-Saharan Africa is three times higher than that of their male counterparts while only 15% of young women aged 15-24 are aware of their HIV status.
In order to specifically address the underlying structural gender inequality drivers that exacerbate young women’s and girls’ vulnerability in particular, UNAIDS and the African Union developed five recommendations (learn more in a comprehensive report here):
- Women’s agency, participation and leadership is crucial
- Strategies to reduce intimate partner violence to reduce vulnerability to HIV
- Scaling up social protection and cash transfers to reduce poverty and girls’ vulnerability to HIV
- Strategies to keep girls in school and comprehensive sexuality education
- Scaling up integrating HIV with sexual and reproductive health services