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With improved access to treatment for people living with HIV many are now able to live longer. As a result there is growing interest in overall quality of life issues. In many countries attention is increasingly being drawn to the unique and often neglected needs of different sub-groups including young people. This exploratory qualitative study sought to examine the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs and concerns and barriers to accessing related services for adolescents aged 10 – 19 years living with HIV in Zambia.
The aims of this qualitative study, carried out in 2010, were twofold. The first was to explore and document the psychosocial, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescents (10-19) living with HIV in Zambia. The second aim was to identify gaps between these needs and existing SRH and HIV-related initiatives and services currently available to young people.
Being young and female are two central aspects of vulnerability to HIV which intersect in the lives of adolescent girls. Both before and within marriage, girls and young women are especially vulnerable to contracting HIV as a result of both their biological susceptibility as well as their relative powerlessness within sexual relationships, the primary means of transmission. Girls and young women are disproportionally infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. …