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Teen HIV could rise by 60 per cent

dpa logodpa 1/12/2016

UNICEF is warning that teen HIV could rise dramatically, with devastating consequences.

New HIV infections among adolescents could rise by as much as 60 per cent to reach 400,000 new cases a year by 2030 if progress on reaching the especially vulnerable population remains at its current pace, UNICEF says.

The report, which coincides with World AIDS Day, warns that due to demographic shifts, including a steep growth in the youth population, the number of new infections among young people aged 15 to 19 could nearly double compared to the 250,000 cases recorded in 2015.

If progress slows, the consequences could be devastating, UNICEF said, warning that funding for AIDS response has decreased since 2014.

The report calls for more investment in innovation, strengthening data collection, ending the stigma attached to the disease and prioritising prevention efforts among adolescents.

AIDS is one of the leading causes of death among teens, claiming 41,000 lives in 2015 alone, UNICEF said.

"The world has made tremendous progress in the global effort to end AIDS, but the fight is far from over - especially for children and adolescents," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF's executive director.

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