Refocusing HIV efforts in sub-Saharan Africa

In the push to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS by 2015, as called for by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals – a set of internationally recognized targets for reducing poverty worldwide – success may depend on forging connections with young African women, so that they are able to protect themselves and their partners against the epidemic.

The report shows that about four million young people aged 15 to 24 were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008. The region also has the largest number of new HIV infections. If the epidemic is to be reversed in time to meet the deadline, change must happen there – and it must happen now.

"What we know is that HIV infection rises dramatically in young women between the ages of about 15 and 25,” Dr. Whiteside said. “So if we could address this, then I think we could go a long way towards stopping the epidemic.”

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