This past week the “All In #EndAdolescentAIDS” campaign aimed at taking action to end adolescent AIDS was launched in Nairobi, Kenya. The hast tag #EndAdolescentAIDS was trending on Twitter as various major international organizations and country governments announced their plans for the campaign.
“I launched the “Global All In!” Campaign, a crusade aimed at consolidating efforts against HIV/AIDS among adolescents.” President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya)
“Children should be the first to benefit from our successes in defeating HIV, and the last to suffer from our failures.” Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
“AIDS is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa. Globally, two thirds of all new infections among adolescents were among adolescent girls. This is a moral injustice. I am calling on young people to lead the All In movement, alongside the United Nations, public and private partners, and countries themselves, to end the adolescent AIDS epidemic.” Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS
Various images portraying the statistics of HIV infections among adolescents were shared on the internet and social media channels as follows.
Thirty adolescents are infected with HIV every hour across the globe, which translates to one adolescent being infected every two minutes. This means that by the time you finish reading this post, a few more adolescents will have been infected with HIV:
In 2013, 2 million adolescents globally were HIV-positive and AIDS was the leading cause of death among 10-19 year old adolescents in Africa:
In 2013, two thirds of new infections among 15-19 year old adolescents were girls:
Many adolescents have not been tested. Many are HIV-positive or have not yet received disclosure of their illnesses. Some (or should I say many) are already engaged in sexual activity but we adults have difficulty accepting or acknowledging that our teenagers are having sex:
Here is what the HIV prevalence looks like globally among adolescents (who are having sex with each other). However, in many cultures we remain afraid or unable to speak to them about sex:
During the week, there were many news headlines about how we need to approach the All In #EndAdolescentAIDS campaign:
Given these global statistics about HIV and our adolescents, is it time to stop launching programs with high pomp and circumstances but really actually start to do something? Do our adolescents who are at high risk of acquiring HIV need to be spoken to about sex? Can or should we all embrace the All In to #EndAdolescentAIDS campaign in order to help our children secure their futures?
I have written before on the need for us to speak to our children (adolescents and young adults) about sex and involve them more during program planning:
Simply put, on the issue of us not wanting to acknowledge that our children are having sex and being unwilling/unable to speak to them about sex:
Please follow me on my social media platforms below: