Strengthening Adolescent Component Within the National HIV/AIDS Program
Sustainable Development Goals: 3, 16
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
- SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Strengthening Adolescent Component Within the National HIV/AIDS Program: Advocacy Report
This report aims to evaluate the epidemic of HIV/AIDS amongst Ukrainian youth. Researchers examined evidence gathered from surveys sent to a variety of stakeholders and analyzed to identify an action plan that would alleviate the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. UNICEF has recognized certain groups of youth whom are most vulnerable: street children, internally displaced children and children hailing from difficult familial conditions. The main transmission for HIV/AIDS is through sexual activity. One third of the youth surveyed revealed that they began having sexual relations at the age of 15, which is earlier than the legal age of consent. The lack of proper sex education exasperates this problem- a significant proportion of adolescents engaging in sex do not use a condom. To tackle this problem, HIV testing is available voluntarily or with the consent of a parent for 14 year olds. The government also plans to implement counseling, testing, and treatment services for affected adolescents aged 14 and above. UNICEF is also conducting campaigns across Ukraine such as “Get tested!” to encourage and inform adolescents about sexual health. Through this study, researchers have concluded that treatment programs for those suffering from HIV, counseling programs, syringe exchange programs, school curriculums on sexual health and programs encouraging safer behavior can prevent the epidemic of HIV among adolescents in the future.