Ending AIDS by 2030: the importance of an interlinked approach and meaningful youth leadership

J Int AIDS Soc. 2018 Feb;21 Suppl 1(Suppl Suppl 1):e25061. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25061.


Introduction: This commentary by authors from the Adolescent HIV Treatment Coalition calls for action to improve advocacy and service delivery for young people by leveraging the interlinkages between HIV and the broader development agenda. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes target 3.3 on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, and along with the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, this has led to a global renewal of political commitment to the HIV response. However, young people are still being left behind, and to provide an equitable and sustainable response to HIV we must ensure that we are meeting the needs of the 3.9 million young people living with HIV, and the millions more at risk.

Discussion: While HIV has its own target within the 2030 Agenda, efforts to end AIDS are inextricable from other goals and targets, such as on poverty eradication, education, gender equality and peace. To tackle HIV we must work beyond target 3.3 and provide a comprehensive response that addresses the underlying structural inequalities that impact adolescents and young people, ensuring that we enable the meaningful engagement of youth and adolescents as partners and leaders of sustainable development and the HIV response. Finally, it is necessary to collect better disaggregated data and evidence on the HIV epidemic among adolescents, as well as on best practices for supporting them.

Conclusions: Ending the AIDS epidemic among adolescents and young people (aged 10 to 24) by 2030 is possible. However, it requires an integrated, multi-sectoral response to HIV which pays attention to the social determinants that put adolescents at risk and fuel the epidemic. Positioning efforts to end AIDS among young people within the broader 2030 Agenda and building youth leadership will contribute to building a more healthy, equitable and sustainable society for all.

Keywords: HIV; SDGs; adolescents; interlinkages; participation; youth leadership.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / economics
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Epidemics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Male
  • Poverty
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sustainable Development
  • Young Adult