In commemoration of this year’s World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released new recommendations that would increase HIV testing, counseling, treatment and care.
According to the WHO, more than 2 million adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 years are living with HIV, and many do not receive the care and support that they need to stay in good health and prevent transmission.
“The failure to support effective and acceptable HIV services for adolescents has resulted in a 50% increase in reported AIDS-related deaths in this group compared with the 30% decline seen in the general population from 2005 to 2012,” WHO said in a statement.
It said the recommendations contained in the “HIV and adolescents: Guidance for HIV testing and counselling and care for adolescents living with HIV” are the first to address the specific needs of adolescents both for those living with HIV as well as those who are at risk of infection.
“Adolescents face difficult and often confusing emotional and social pressures as they grow from children into adults,” says Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of WHO HIV/AIDS Department. “Adolescents need health services and support, tailored to their needs. They are less likely than adults to be tested for HIV and often need more support than adults to help them maintain care and to stick to treatment.”