Thursday February 21, 2019

Every Three Minutes a Teenage Girl is Infected by HIV – UNICEF

The solution, according to Angelique Kidjo, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador who contributed to the report, is education and economic empowerment

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School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

One girl between the ages of 15 and 19 is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, every three minutes of every day, a United Nations report found.

The report, released Wednesday at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, said teenage girls are bearing the brunt of the AIDS epidemic, largely due to gender inequality.

Henrietta Fore, head of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), called it a “crisis of health.”

“In most countries, women and girls lack access to information, to services, or even just power to say no to unsafe sex,” she said. “HIV thrives among the most vulnerable and marginalized, leaving teenage girls at the center of the crisis.”

The report said while there was significant progress in the battle against AIDS in other age groups, it is notably lacking among adolescents.

While AIDS-related deaths among all other age groups have been falling since 2010, those among children aged 15 to 19 have seen no reduction.

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The report said while there was significant progress in the battle against AIDS in other age groups, it is notably lacking among adolescents. Flickr

In 2017, 1.2 million 15- to 19-year-olds were living with HIV, three in five of them were girls, according to UNICEF.

Actress and activist Charlize Theron addressed the issue in her speech at the conference.

The AIDS epidemic is “not just about sex or sexuality,” she said. It is also about “the second-class status of women and girls worldwide.”

Also Read: HIV Drug Is Not Linked to Depression: Study

The solution, according to Angelique Kidjo, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador who contributed to the report, is education and economic empowerment.

“We need to make girls and women secure enough economically that they don’t have to turn to sex work,” she said. “We need to make sure they have the right information about how HIV is transmitted and how to protect themselves.” (VOA)

Next Story

Most Children Globally Lack Social Protection Coverage

The report highlights the impact extreme poverty has upon the lives of children and the societies in which they live. Chief of the U.N. Children’s Fund Child Poverty and Social Protection Unit, David Stewart, says 385 million children are living on under $1.90 a day.

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Syrian children queue to receive food distributed by humanitarian aid workers at a makeshift camp for displaced people, near the village of Yazi Bagh, Feb. 7, 2018. VOA

A joint study by the International Labor Organization and U.N. Children’s Fund finds the vast majority of the world’s children lack effective social protection coverage. It says this dooms them to a life of extreme poverty, with negative implications for society.

The study finds only one third of children between zero and 14 years of age have any social protection. That means two-thirds, or 1.3 billion children live without a social safety net.

International Labor Organization Social Protection Department Director Isabel Ortiz says just slightly more than one percent of GDP is allocated to social protection for children. She says this huge under-investment gap needs to be covered.

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The report highlights the impact extreme poverty has upon the lives of children and the societies in which they live. Chief of the U.N. Children’s Fund Child Poverty and Social Protection Unit, David Stewart, says 385 million children are living on under $1.90 a day. Pixabay

“And, of course, the numbers worsen as we go by region. In Africa, for instance, children represent 40 percent of the African population overall. However, only 0.6 percent is actually invested in social protection for children,” she said.

The report finds children fare best in Europe and Central Asia where 87 percent have social protection coverage, followed by children in the Americas with 66 percent. Asia and Africa have the worst records. The report says no data is available on the Arab States.

The report highlights the impact extreme poverty has upon the lives of children and the societies in which they live. Chief of the U.N. Children’s Fund Child Poverty and Social Protection Unit, David Stewart, says 385 million children are living on under $1.90 a day.

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Stewart says this has negative implications for children, and for societies and economies as well. Pixabay

“I think one of the most striking statistics, which emerges is that children are two times as likely to be living in poverty as adults,” he said. “Now, for children it is particularly concerning because poverty can have a lifetime implication for children. You do not have a second chance at nutrition, at health care, and education.”

Also Read:Google Slammed for Tricking Users to View Infected PNG Images

Stewart says this has negative implications for children, and for societies and economies as well.

The ILO and UNICEF recommend the rapid expansion of social protection for children including the consideration of universal cash grants to children. Authors of the report say evidence clearly shows cash transfers play a vital role in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and vulnerability. (VOA)