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September 2017

Preventing Human Immunodeficiency Virus Acquisition in Youth—Generations at Risk

Author Affiliations
  • 1Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Washington, DC
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(9):829-830. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1702

The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.

John F. Kennedy

Globally, there are approximately 1.8 billion youths aged 10 to 24 years, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 people worldwide. Approximately 88% of the world’s youth live in low- and middle-income countries.1 Ensuring the health of these young people will have long-term benefits for their well-being as adults, the health of future generations, and society overall. Yet there remains a dearth of research on the health of young people, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. An estimated 1.3 million adolescents aged 10 to 19 years die annually, most of preventable or treatable causes. Prominent among these preventable causes is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Human immunodeficiency virus is among the top causes of death for young people globally and the leading cause of death for African adolescents aged 10 to 19 years and for girls and young women aged 10 to 24 years worldwide.2