Objectives: In 2001 the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Commitment was signed by 189 countries with a goal to reduce HIV prevalence among young people by 25% by 2010. Progress towards this target is assessed. In addition, changes in reported sexual behaviour among young people aged 15e24 years are investigated. Methods: Thirty countries most affected by HIV were invited to participate in the study. Trends in HIV prevalence among young antenatal clinic (ANC) attendees were analysed using data from sites that were consistently included in surveillance between 2000 and 2008. Regression analysis was used to determine if the UN target had been reached. Trends in prevalence data from repeat national population-based surveys were also analysed. Trends in sexual behaviour were analysed using data from repeat standardised national population-based surveys between 1990 and 2008. Results: Seven countries showed a statistically significant decline of 25% or more in HIV prevalence among young ANC attendees by 2008, in rural or urban areas or in both: Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Three further countries showed a significant decline in HIV prevalence among young women (Zambia) or men (South Africa, Tanzania) in national surveys. Seven other countries are on track, whereas four are unlikely to reach the goal by 2010. Nine countries did not have adequate data to assess prevalence trends. Indications suggestive of changes towards less risky sexual behaviour were observed in the majority of countries. In eight countries with significant declines in HIV prevalence, significant changes were also observed in sexual behaviour in either men or women for at least two of the three sexual behaviour indicators. Conclusions: Declines in HIV prevalence among young people were documented in the majority of countries with adequate data and in most cases were accompanied by changes in sexual behaviour. Further data, research and more rigorous analysis at country level are needed to understand the associations between programmatic efforts, reported behavioural changes and changes in prevalence and incidence of HIV.
Sexually Transmitted Infections 86 ii
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