XIX International AIDS Conference


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WEAE0403 - Oral Abstract

The state of the national response to prevent HIV among young people: a review of national reporting in 20 high-prevalence countries

Presented by Susan Kasedde (United States).

I. Birdthistle1, S. Dringus1, L. Knight2, E. Yankah2, P. Idele3, C. Suzuki3, L. Nguyen3, S. Kasedde4

1London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Epidemiology & Population Health, London, United Kingdom, 2Consultant, London, United Kingdom, 3UNICEF, New York, United States, 4UNICEF, New York, United Kingdom

Background: Given recent international commitments to the prevention of HIV among young people, we sought to assess the national response to prevent new infections among 10-24 year olds in countries with high HIV prevalence.
Methods: For 20 countries with generalized HIV epidemics, current national strategic plans and progress reports were reviewed to assess the national response in terms of: planning, measured by the inclusion of youth-specific strategies within national AIDS plans; and implementation, or the extent to which prevention activities reach the intended audience.
Results: All 20 countries include youth-specific strategies in their current national AIDS plan, and school-based HIV prevention was the youth prevention strategy most often included. Governments of all 20 countries report that school-based HIV education is reaching the majority of people in need, and included in primary, secondary, and teacher training curricula. The proportion of schools providing life-skills based HIV education varies from 2% to 100%. Programmes for out-of-school youth, behaviour change communication, and condom promotion were commonly included in national strategies, however, their content, quality and coverage were generally not reported. In UNGASS country progress reports, few countries disaggregate by age and sex the UNGASS indicators relevant to young people, or report comparable statistics over time.
Conclusions: In 20 high-prevalence countries, HIV prevention among young people is considered a priority in national plans, and the most widely implemented intervention for youth is school-based prevention. Monitoring youth-focused programmes should be improved to assess coverage, quality and delivery through comparable data over time. At a minimum, reporting UNGASS indicators by age and sex will improve the usefulness of national progress reports in tracking prevention efforts for youth. As a priority, systems are needed to report planning and programmes to promote condoms and HIV testing among young people, given the scarcity of data at the national level.

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