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WHO launches new guidelines to help neglected adolescents fight HIV/AIDS

English.news.cn | Updated: 2013-11-26 10:35

The World Health Organization on Monday launched new recommendations to address the specific needs of adolescents both for those living with HIV and those who are at risk of infection.

The document, HIV and adolescents: Guidance for HIV testing and counselling and care for adolescents living with HIV, released ahead of the World AIDS Day 2013, estimated that 2.1 million adolescents between 10 and 19 years old are living with HIV in 2012.

Many of them do not receive the care and support that they need to stay in good health and prevent transmission and millions more adolescents are at risk of infection, said the guidance, first of its kind to address the issue among this group.

It pointed out that from 2005 to 2012, the failure to support effective and acceptable HIV services for adolescents has resulted in a 50 percent increase in reported AIDS-related deaths in this group, compared with the 30 percent decline among the general population.

Many young people do not know their HIV status. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, it's estimated that only 10 percent of young men and 15 percent of young women (15-24 years old) know their HIV status, according to the guidance.

WHO recommended governments review their laws to make it easier for adolescents to obtain HIV testing without needing consent from their parents.

The guidelines also suggested ways that health services can improve the quality of care and social support for adolescents and highlighted the value of involving them to create an adolescent-centered approach to the services that work for them.