Executive Summary: Opportunities for Action and Impact to Address HIV and AIDS in Adolescents

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Abstract

Introduction:

The global HIV epidemic in adolescents is not controlled, and this group has not received sufficient attention in programming and research efforts addressing HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

Methods:

A global technical consultation on adolescents and HIV addressing services and research gaps was convened by United Nations Children's Fund and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in July 2013. Proceedings from this meeting are presented in this issue of the Supplement.

Results:

Several reviews highlight poor levels of coverage of critical HIV prevention, treatment, and care interventions for adolescents, disparities in HIV prevalence among adolescent girls, and low-risk perceptions associated with risk behaviors among key risk groups. Others underscore the significance of clear national targets and strengthening data, government involvement, enhanced systems capacity and policy, engagement of community and adolescent social networks, and of mobile and internet technologies to the success of interventions for adolescents. Finally, reviews identified several efficacious interventions for adults that could benefit from operational research to inform optimizing implementation in adolescents and how to do so with maximal cost efficiency and impact on the epidemic.

Conclusions:

Addressing the adolescent gap in the response to the HIV epidemic is essential to a more sustainable and effective response and is critical to overall adolescent health and well-being. The global community has the means and the responsibility to put measures in place to make AIDS-free survival the reality for children in this second decade of life.

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