HIV response affected by "Prevention crisis" -UNAIDS

Elton John spoke Tuesday during the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam

Elton John spoke Tuesday during the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam

"If countries don't provide comprehensive s3xuality education, condoms, harm reduction or pre-exposure prophylaxis for key populations, this will ultimately translate into more new HIV infections, higher future treatment costs and a higher burden for health-care budgets and systems", said Mr Sidibé.

Out of the 30 hourly infections in 2017, about 20 were girls aged 15 to 19, which represents a "crisis of health as well as a crisis of agency", according to UNICEF.

"In most countries, women and girls do not have access to the necessary information and services or even have the opportunity to refuse unprotected sex", the Executive Director of Unicef, Henrietta Fore, said in a statement.

According to a new UNAIDS report, 47 per cent of new HIV infections globally affect key vulnerable populations, such as sex workers, and people who inject drugs.

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Rates of new infections rose 30 percent in the Eastern European and Central Asia region between 2010 and 2017.

UNICEF's report, presented on Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Amsterdam, said that 130,000 children aged 19 and under died from AIDS previous year, while 430,000 - nearly 50 an hour - were newly infected.

Akanmu who is also the chairman of the National Task Team on Anteretroviral Therapy in Nigeria and head of the AIDS Prevention Initiative (APIN) programme in LUTH, described HIV as largely a female epidemic, saying for every 10 people that were infected with HIV, six to seven would be female and only three to four would be male. An alarming number of teenage girls are also contracting HIV via forced sex, or being powerless when it comes to negotiating around sex. This requires limiting infections to 500,000 per year by 2020, yet last year they numbered 1.8 million.

The analysis further indicates that about two-thirds of those to be infected will be girls or young women.

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"Yet few countries have invested in comprehensive programmes to combat gender-based violence or to ensure ready access to adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services".

"We are scanning the world to try and gather more data", said Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, chair of the International Aids Society.

"In certain parts of the world we are about to go into the youth bulge, so we'll have more young people than we've ever had in the world before", she told AFP.

The risk of HIV transmission from a single act of unprotected sex is very low, and there is no possibility of transmission during either vaginal or anal sex if the HIV-positive partner has an undetectable viral load.

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