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Nearly half of the world's population, some 3 billion people, is under the age of 25. As the largest generation ever of young people, investments in their health and well-being are crucial so they can make a positive transition into adulthood and fully contribute to the economic and social development of their families, communities and nations. But in order to develop strategies and mobilize financial resources to support adolescent and youth development, decisionmakers need reliable, up-to-date demographic, health, education and socioeconomic data about young people. …
The study provides information on key reproductive and sexual health indicators in young women and men age 15-24 in 38 developing countries. The data come from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS) conducted between 2001 and 2005. Indicators are selected for the following key areas: background characteristics; adolescent pregnancy; contraception; sexual activity; and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Additional analysis examines the association of various individual and household characteristics with the key indicators.
This document highlights factors which increase the risk of HIV infection for young people and concludes with a number of principles for success for future work to prevent HIV infection among young people in developing countries.