HIV is increasingly becoming a disease of the young. Right now, more than 3 million children are living with HIV.
Yet young people, particularly young women, remain alarmingly uninformed on even the most basic facts about HIV and prevention.
Adolescents and young people cannot protect themselves if they do not know the facts about HIV transmission and how to prevent it.
In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are particularly affected, with far more young women becoming infected than young men. For many girls and young women, exchanging sex for money, food or other benefits may be the only way to make a living or support their families.
How UNICEF helps
A basic education, including knowledge about sexuality and HIV, can make a big difference in preventing HIV and AIDS.
UNICEF supports programmes to educate young people about HIV, sex and relationships through schools, the media and social clubs.
When young people are given accurate information on sex and HIV and AIDS, they are more likely to delay sexual activity and more likely to use condoms when they do have sex.
Read about Brothers for Life, a UNICEF-supported campaign in South Africa to educate young men about safe sex.