HIV/AIDS AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN
Despite great progress made against HIV globally, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are disproportionately at risk of acquiring new HIV infections. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures, including school closures, further predispose the AGYW at risk. Therefore, policy measures remain a necessity to reduce the spread of the pandemic, and at same time safeguard progress made in the fight against HIV among the AGYW.
• In sub-Saharan Africa, despite making up just 10% of the population, one out of every five new HIV infections happens among adolescent girls and young women1
• AGYW are 5 to 14 times more likely than their male peers to be infected with HIV 2
• AGYW accounted for 1 in 5 new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 20173
• Closure of schools impacted information dissemination through schools on sexuality education;
• Scheduled peer-to-peer interventions including targeted HIV testing services were disrupted;
• Interrupted condom distribution in tertiary institutions since students were home;
• Increased teen pregnancies, marriages, and school dropouts;
• Increased cases of gender-based violence mostly on girls and women; and
• Sexual and reproductive health services for girls were not a health priority due to reduced staff.