Young women most vulnerable to HIV: UNAIDS

Updated: Jun 05, 2011, 09:59 AM IST

New Delhi: At least 26 percent of all new HIV infections in the world are among young women in the age group of 15-24 years, a UNAIDS report released Friday said.

According to the report "AIDS at 30: Nations at the crossroads", gender inequalities remain a major barrier to effective HIV response.

"HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, and more than a quarter (26 percent) of all new global HIV infections are among young women aged 15-24," it said.

The report also said that apart from women, HIV prevalence among homosexuals, people who inject drugs, sex workers and their clients and transgender people are higher than among other population.

"Access to HIV prevention and treatment for populations at higher risk of infection is generally lower due to punitive and discriminatory laws, and stigma and discrimination," it added.

It said that till April this year, 79 countries treated consensual same-sex relations as a criminal activity.

The report said that globally, the rate of new HIV infections declined by nearly 25 percent between 2001 and 2009, it said.

An estimated 34 million HIV-positive people live around the world, while nearly 30 million people have died of AIDS-related causes globally since the first case was reported 30 years ago.

In India, there are 2.5 million HIV/AIDS affected people.

IANS