Number 1 KillerAIDS is officially the number 1 killer of adolescents in Africa. According to CNN, the number has tripled in the past 15 years even though efforts to prevent the spread of the virus have been well underway.
Getting to ZeroThe 2015 World Aids day’s theme is getting to zero; end Aids by 2030. Unfortunately, despite efforts, statistics are taking a rise for adolescent children. UNICEF stated that teenagers that are dying as a result of Aids are usually affected from birth. It is absolutely essential that the right support, treatment and care are given to those infected so that they are able to live a healthier life and not succumb to death. Apart from the almost 2 million adolescents living with the disease, it is absolutely essential that all HIV- negative teenagers get access to help and information regarding the disease and how to prevent contracting it.
Will Aids “Fall”?According to an Al Jazeera source, Aids-related deaths have decreased over 40 percent since 2004; also, the statistics for additional HIV infected people have dropped 35 percent from 2001 to 2014. This major drop gives us hope that Aids may be completely demolished; however, we need to focus on the adolescents as even though the general statistics are favourable, we cannot say that for the adolescents.
Education is EssentialFirstly, teenagers need to be encouraged to get tested for HIV; if they have a partner, they should also be tested. If a teenager is found positive, he/she needs to talk to a healthcare provider to get information regarding care and treatment to enable him/her to live the healthiest life possible. Teenagers tested HIV-negative need to make sure they:
- Use condoms when having sex
- Don’t use unclean needles for illegal drugs and tattoos
- See a healthcare provider if they think that they are possibly infected