Towards an Integrated Framework for Accelerating the End for the Global HIV Epidemic among Young People

December 2014 - Combination Prevention

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DiClemente, R. J., & Jackson, J. M. Sex Education (July 2014), Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 609–621.

The authors of this opinion paper highlight approaches to, challenges, and gaps in HIV prevention programming for young people and adolescents (aged 13–24 years)—a group of global concern in terms of HIV-related morbidity and mortality—and advocated for an adapted, integrated combination prevention approach for this group. While numerous biomedical interventions exist, their use with young people raises challenges, including the absence of appropriate testing for safe use in young people and adolescents, and limited knowledge and low adherence to medication in this population. The authors noted that existing evidence-based behavioral, biomedical, and structural interventions could be adapted for young people. Meta-analysis has shown that behavioral interventions are effective in reducing risky sexual behavior among young people—for example, by increasing condom use and increasing sexual negotiation skills. The authors added that community mobilization strategies have been shown effective in achieving large-scale uptake of HIV prevention strategies among adolescents and youth. Furthermore, cost-effective, technology-driven, evidence-based interventions can be effective for reaching young people, who are often already using that technology. The authors concluded that an integrated implementation approach consisting of tailored biomedical, behavioral, and structural interventions is necessary for successful HIV prevention programming among young people.

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