October 11 is International Girl’s Day

October 11 is International Girl’s Day

AHF urges governments and society to amplify the voices of girls and adolescents, as a means to empower them and together create more conducive conditions for their physical and emotional development.

This October 11, AHF joins the International Day of the Girl Child, to seek and amplify the voices of girls and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean, as a means of empowerment to end the persistent violence that puts them at risk of pregnancy, HIV, and other diseases, which negatively impacts their education and economic future and development. 

According to the Boys and Girls Panorama 2020 report prepared by UNICEF, Latin America and the Caribbean has the second-highest rate of child pregnancies in the world, with about 18 percent of births corresponding to women under the age of 20. In figures, each year one and a half million adolescent women between 15 and 19 years get pregnant.

According to the same document, 4 out of 10 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have experienced violence by members of their family or from their partner. While HIV diagnoses are rare in girls of 14 years or younger, they skyrocket in adolescent girls.

So far this year, AHF obtained 148 reactive diagnoses in cisgender women aged 15 to 19 years (Total: 9,144 tests applied to this group). In 2020, there were 184 and in 2019, 167 (total: 20,906 tests) that speak to us of the urgency for the States to implement a true Comprehensive Sexual Education to strengthen knowledge from childhood about their body and take all measures to eradicate gender violence.

This year, UNAIDS reported that the total number of minors taking antiretrovirals decreased for the first time in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, according to its new report that highlights inequities in the response to HIV.

The proportion of boys and girls who receive treatment is 54%, which is lower than that of adults, which stands at 74%. Thus, although only 5% of all people living with HIV are children, they account for 15% of AIDS-related deaths. The gap can be closed when those who were not diagnosed at birth are diagnosed.

From January 2021 to date, AHF has diagnosed 61 girls from 0 months to 14 years of age Total: 1980 tests in these age groups. Of these, 8 live in Guatemala, 10 in Colombia; 36 in Haiti, three in Peru, and 4 in the Dominican Republic. Prenatal screening and access to treatment for pregnant women allow these numbers to remain low, although there are conditions of great vulnerability, such as migration, which increases the risk of vertical transmission.

In 2020, the total number of diagnoses in girls up to 14 years of age in all the countries where AHF operates was 88 (total: 5111 tests): three in Argentina; two in Brazil; 5 in Colombia; 5 in Guatemala, 68 in Haiti; 4 in Peru and one in the Dominican Republic.

For 2019, 51 girls were diagnosed (total 2,508 tests) two in Argentina, 6 in Colombia; 19 in Guatemala, 9 in Haiti; one in Mexico, 12 in Peru, and two in the Dominican Republic.

In Latin America, with the Girls Act initiative, AHF contributes to the empowerment and basic needs of girls and adolescents from vulnerable communities in Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

US MEDIA CONTACTS:

Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Senior Director

+1 323 308 1833 Office   +1.323.791.5526 Mobile

[email protected]

Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy and

AHF Communications

+1 323 308 18 29

[email protected]

MEDIA CONTACT IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN:

Guillermina Alanís, Advocacy Director

+54 9 294 4599638

[email protected]

Sergio Lagarde, Marketing Director

+52 5554190876

[email protected]

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and / or services to more than 1.6 million people in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America / Caribbean, the Asia / Pacific and Eastern Europe region. For more information on AHF, visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth Twitter: @aidshealthcare  and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.