Are HIV programmes missing the young who need them the most ?

Bobby Ramakant – CNS
Contd from last Saturday
Comprehensive sexuality education is another missing or weak cog-in-the-wheel in India’s education system. Also we need approaches that reach out to the young who are not enrolled in formal education system so that they can benefit from comprehensive sexuality education, as well as other health and social welfare services. “Then they will be able to take more informed decisions which will help them in not putting themselves in a vulnerable position,” said Applesta.
She called for making HIV self-testing widely available and accessible in India. As per a recent news, in recognition of growing scientific evidence in favour of HIV self-testing, it is likely to be introduced in India by end of this year. Engaging the young people, especially those from key populations, is vital to find solutions and approaches that work best for them.
HIV rates have declined but not steeply enough
Some countries in Asia Pacific region have made strong gains against their HIV epidemics. Thailand and Viet Nam have reduced their annual numbers of new HIV infections by at least 50% since 2010. These declines were achieved mainly with prevention programmes focused on people from key populations. (To be contd)