Young people, like Aime, are at the center of the HIV epidemic because of their high rates of infection, their vulnerability and, most importantly, because of their enormous potential to turn this epidemic around.
While the number of global AIDS-related deaths fell by 30% between 2005 and 2012, deaths of adolescents increased by 50%. AIDS is the number one killer of adolescents in Africa, and the number two killer of adolescents worldwide.
Young people living with HIV are not getting tested for HIV and, when they do, they are stopping treatment, getting sick, falling out of care, and too frequently dying. We are failing this generation.
And while these gaps in care are now increasingly recognized, there are not enough grassroots programs that involve young people in their care and address their unique needs. We are proud to partner with community-based organizations that do.
We have expanded our youth-friendly services and worked in partnership with young people to build a movement of young activists who are leaders in the programs they support, fighting for their rights and the rights of their peers, and advocating for change in their communities.
They are the face of HIV and AIDS, breathing new life, new energy and new momentum into the cause. They are the future.