Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, girls account for 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15–19. With 7,000 girls and young women aged 15–24 infected every week, the goal of an AIDS-free generation cannot be achieved without a dramatic new approach to this population. After years of neglect, a global convergence is emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Whether this new attention can catalyze reductions in new HIV infections represents a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

Janet Fleischman
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Global Health Policy Center

Katherine Peck