Adolescent health

Topic Selected: Adolescent Health

General Article icon Type: General Article

The state of adolescent health

One in every five people in the world is an adolescent, and 85% of them live in developing countries. Nearly two-thirds of premature deaths and one-third of the total disease burden in adults are associated with conditions or behaviours that began in youth, including tobacco use, a lack of physical activity, unprotected sex or exposure to violence. Promoting healthy practices during adolescence, and efforts that better protect this age group from risks will ensure longer, more productive lives for many.

HIV and young people

Young people aged 15-24 accounted for an estimated 45% of new HIV infections worldwide in 2007. They need to know how to protect themselves from HIV and have the means to do so. Better access to testing and counselling will inform young people about their HIV status, help them get the care they need, and avoid further spread of the virus.

Early pregnancy and childbirth

About 16 million girls

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