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Nigeria Struggles to Care for its Adolescents Living With HIV

LAGOS, Nigeria, Dec 15 2014 (IPS) - HIV among teenagers is devastating families in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, where AIDS has become the No. 1 killer of adolescents.

Africa accounts for more than 80 per cent of the 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV globally.

In Nigeria, half of the 3.1 million people living with HIV are aged 15-24 years.

Drivers of HIV infection among adolescents include scarce information about sexual reproductive health and HIV, unprotected sex and sexual violence.


• South Africa 11,000
• Tanzania 10,000
• Ethiopia 7,900
• Kenya 7,800
• Zimbabwe 6,500
• Uganda 6,300

Source: UNAIDS
Tragically, AIDS is now the leading cause of death among African teenagers.

Between 2005 and 2012 the global AIDS death toll fell by 30 percent but increased by 50 percent among adolescents, according to the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Late HIV diagnosis, fear of discrimination, low enrolment and adherence to antiretroviral treatment, and absence of specialized health services for HIV positive youths are some of the factors responsible for AIDS related deaths among adolescents in Africa.

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daniel hopsicker