Africa’s young people aged 15–24 are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS. The impact of the epidemic on young people calls for close attention to the youth dimensions of the epidemic. To inform the development of more effective policies for targeting youth and meeting their needs, the Population Council and partners conducted a study of HIV risk-taking and health-seeking behaviors among young people in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. It also reviewed the prevailing legal, policy, and programmatic responses in order to establish a basis for a sharper focus on the response to youth on the continent. The report from the study provides insights and evidence for better planning, designing, allocating resources to, and evaluating policies and programs that address the HIV vulnerabilities of youth across Africa. Findings from the report point to the need for targeted evidenced-based advocacy toward policymakers and donors to bring greater attention to the youth dimensions of the epidemic and more innovative operational research to better understand how young people can contribute to the development and implementation of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health policies and programs. The report, among other findings, also highlights the need for National AIDS coordinating agencies to include young people in national HIV policies, better align national and subnational laws, and civil, customary, and religious laws to ensure policies are not contradictory, and increase government funding and demonstrated ownership and sustainability of youth-based HIV programs.
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