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UNAIDS calls for youth activists on HIV to be change agents


On this International Youth Day, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) calls on young people to use their creativity and leadership in the AIDS response.

“As agents of change, young people must claim their right to health and be part of the decision making processes that will impact their lives,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

There have been tremendous achievements in the response to the HIV epidemic for adolescents and youth but much more needs to be done. Young people are not only beneficiaries of HIV services but also play an important role as partners and leaders in the AIDS response. This is why UNAIDS has expanded its youth programme and recently established the Youth Advisory Forum to channel young people’s voices and opinions into key UNAIDS initiatives. 

Globally, an estimated 4.6 million young people are living with HIV. Each day, about 2300 young people are newly infected with HIV. Many young people living with HIV do not have access to treatment or do not know their HIV status. In many countries, young people are prevented from accessing sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV testing and condoms, due to age-related restrictions.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Information in this article was accurate in September 13, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.