Adolescent deaths from AIDS triple in 15 years

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In Malawi, nineteen years ago, Martha Jere was born with HIV. Photo: UNICEF/HIVA2015–00104/Schermbrucker

The number of adolescents who have died from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years, according to new data released by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

AIDS is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally.

Ana Carmo reports.

In 2014, 60,000 young people died from AIDS compared to 20,000 in the year 2000.

Among HIV-affected populations, adolescents are the only group for which the mortality figures are not decreasing.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest prevalence, girls are vastly more affected, accounting for 70 per cent of new infections among 15-19 year olds.

However, among adolescents in that age group in the region, only 10 per cent are tested for HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS.

Despite the tripling of deaths UNICEF said that since 2000, nearly 1.3 million new infections among children have been averted.

That's largely due to advances in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 49″ 

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