Young People Living With HIV

Worldwide, young people (ages 15-24) account for 40 percent of all new HIV infections. An estimated 2,400 youth are newly infected every day.

Young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) are a diverse group and their experiences and challenges vary, particularly between those infected as adolescents and those who were infected as infants and have survived with the help of increasingly effective antiretroviral therapies.

Research suggests that young people may have special difficulty in accepting an HIV diagnosis, adhering to treatment, and using HIV prevention practices. YPLHIV have cited serious challenges, including stigma, discrimination, and disclosure. Programmatic strategies to address these concerns are still emerging. Referral services and advocacy networks are developing, as well as programs that integrate youth-friendly HIV/AIDS care into other services, such as family-centered care or life-skills training. However, more research is needed to better understand how to meet the medical, social, and psychological needs of YPLHIV.


PEPFAR Updated Gender Strategy

The purpose of this strategy is to help PEPFAR country teams and implementing partners (a) develop country and regional operational plans (COPs and ROPs), (b) design programs that integrate gender issues and (c) work to advance gender equality throughout the HIV continuum of prevention, care, treatment, and support. All HIV programs should identify gender-related issues and take concrete steps to address them throughout the program cycle (2013).


Compendium of Gender Equality and HIV Indicators

The compendium of indicators is the result of an international collaboration of multi and bilateral donors (including UNWomen, UNAIDS, WHO, USAID, PEPFAR, GFATM), civil society, NGOs, researchers and other experts who came to agreement on a set of standardized indicators to measure programmatic areas vital to the intersection of gender and HIV that may be used at national, regional or programmatic levels (2014).


Meet Them Where They Are: Participatory Action Research with Adolescent Girls

To protect and empower girls, programs must start with the girls themselves. This approach – one that meets girls where they are in their lives – was the foundation for an innovative participatory action research pilot project, which aimed to both understand and respond to girls’ HIV-related vulnerabilities. Working with older girls ages 12-17 and their communities in Newala District, one of the least developed and poorly resourced districts of Tanzania, the project's ultimate goal was to design and qualitatively assess a pilot intervention model to address the most pressing vulnerabilities of adolescent girls. This brief report summarizes the process and findings of the participatory action research with lessons for researchers, development practitioners and policymakers working with adolescent girls (2011).


A Qualitative Review of Psychosocial Support Interventions for Young People Living with HIV

This review summarizes the results of a questionnaire that was sent to more than 80 organizations that provide psychosocial support to young people living with HIV. The experiences of the organizations surveyed are synthesized here, with a particular focus on improving adherence to treatment, dealing with disclosure and discrimination, and avoiding high-risk behaviors (2009).


Rapid Advice: Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Infection in Adults and Adolescents

Based on the latest scientific evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released new recommendations on HIV treatment and prevention and infant feeding in the context of HIV. WHO now recommends earlier initiation of antiretroviral therapy for adults and adolescents, the delivery of more patient-friendly antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), and prolonged use of ARVs to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.  For the first time, WHO recommends that HIV-positive mothers or their infants take ARVs while breastfeeding to prevent HIV transmission (2009).


Prescription for Life: Take Action to Help Children Living with HIV

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance developed this short guide for communities, organizations, and individuals who want to help children who are living with HIV. This advocacy guide is intended for use by teachers, parents, youth leaders, and others. French and Spanish versions can also be downloaded (2008).


Adolescents Living with HIV (ALHIV) Toolkit

The ALHIV eToolkit, developed by USAID, AED, and collaborating organizations, provides resources that cover a broad range of topics pertinent to the treatment, care, and support of ALHIV. Topics covered are training, treatment literacy and adherence, counseling and disclosure, life skills, reproductive health, psychosocial support, human rights and advocacy, peer education, adolescent transitioning, and research, policy, and promising practices (2010).


Youth and Global HIV Pandemic: Reaching Key Affected Populations and Empowering a Generation

This fact sheet summarizes key trends in young people living with HIV, the challenges they face and the resources available to them to help them cope with HIV and adhere to treatment (2006).


“Life Doesn’t Wait”: Romania’s Failure to Protect and Support Children and Youth Living with HIV

This report documents the current circumstances of Romanian children and young people living with HIV, the government’s response to the crisis, international human rights laws and campaigns, and recommendations for the Romanian government, the European Union, and international donors (2006).


Supporting the Educational Needs of HIV-Positive Learners: A Desk-based Study

This desk-based research reviewed policy on the education of HIV-positive children and examined how their education can be encouraged and supported in primary and secondary school settings. The report was designed as a precursor to a two-country research study in Namibia and Tanzania (2009).


Integrating Family Planning and HIV/AIDS Services for Young People: Tools for Programming

This report summarizes tools that can assist programs to plan and implement integrated services for youth. The tools are summarized in four sections: developing youth-friendly services, training providers, supporting providers with job aids, and promoting services in the community (2007).


Empower Young Women and Adolescent Girls: Fast-Track the End of the AIDS Epidemic in Africa

Fast-tracking the end of the AIDS epidemic by 2030 requires strong political leadership and commitment to stop new infections and deaths among young women and adolescent girls and eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV. This requires building on and extending Africa’s commitments on sexual and reproductive health and rights, expanding ministerial commitments on comprehensive sexuality education and stopping early marriage, adolescent pregnancy and expanding treatment service coverage (2015).


Transitioning to a Healthy Adulthood: Lessons Learned from Adolescent Girls Living with HIV in Urban Zambia

Nearly six percent of Zambian girls aged 15-19 are living with HIV. Many were infected at birth when antiretroviral therapy (ART) was not widely available for pregnant women. Others have acquired HIV through sexual relationships or abuse. Adolescent girls continue to be at high risk for acquiring HIV due to social factors, like harmful gender norms, and structural factors, such as a lack of youth-friendly health services. Previous research in Zambia found that adolescents living with HIV of- ten had difficulty adhering to treatment, disclosing their HIV status to family and friends and coping with stigma. They also had limited access to information about sexual and reproductive health. Despite these challenges having been identified, very few community-based or clinic-based programs are de- signed to support healthy transitions to adulthood for adolescent girls living with HIV (2015).


HIV and Young Transgender People

This brief from UNFPA aims to inform discussions about how best to provide health services, programs, and support for young transgender people. It offers a concise account of current knowledge concerning the HIV risk and vulnerability of young transgender people; the barriers and constraints they face to appropriate services; examples of programs that may work well in addressing their needs and rights; and approaches and considerations for providing services that both draw upon and build the strengths, competencies, and capacities of these young people (2015).