1. Shimeles Gebeyehu
  2. Sexual & Reproductive health
  3. Wednesday, 09 December 2015
Young people are vulnerable to HIV at two stages of their lives; the first decade of life when HIV can be transmitted from mother-to-child, and the second decade of life when adolescence brings new vulnerability to HIV. In this section we will focus on the second decade of life.

Unprotected sex is the most common cause of HIV among young people, with sharing infected needles second. Adolescence is often associated with experimentation of risky sexual and drug-related behaviors, increasing a young person's vulnerability to HIV. For some, this is a result of not having the correct knowledge about HIV and how to prevent it, highlighting the need for HIV and sexual and reproductive health education. For others, it is the result of being forced to have unprotected sex, or to inject drugs.

Whilst programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) have been hugely successful in recent years, reducing new infections among adolescents is more difficult. There are many factors that put young people at an elevated risk of HIV. Here are some.

Vulnerability via unprotected sex

Early sexual debut: The age of sexual debut is rising, showing a positive change in attitudes among young people with regards to sexual behavior. However, it is still relatively low in many South and East African countries, and lower among adolescent girls than boys in low- and middle-income countries.
Not using condoms: Condom use among young people and adolescents is usually low, with only 34% of young women and 45% of young men in South and East Africa using them.
Multiple partners: The number of sexual partners young people have is falling, although it remains high in countries most affected by the HIV epidemic. More than a quarter of young men in Lesotho, Madagascar and Swaziland are thought to be in multiple relationships.
Older partners: Inter-generational sex (when young people have relationships with older people) is thought to be a driver of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Older partners are more likely to be living with HIV, therefore risking exposure to young people. Young women also find it harder to negotiate condom use with older partners who have greater power in the relationship and may use gifts or money to encourage girls to have unprotected sex.

To which of these vulnerabilities are students exposed in your campus? What do you think should be done to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS through combating vulnerability? Lets’ talk!

Content Credit: http://www.avert.org
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when I see abeatiful girl in day time I suffered by noctornal period at night what I shal do
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