About Young Key Populations

In 2016, an estimated 510,000 young people, aged 15-24, were living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific.

While overall HIV prevalence in most countries is low, the epidemic is highly concentrated in young key populations at higher risk of HIV exposure. A 2008 data from the Global Commission on AIDS in Asia indicated that in the region, 95% of all new infections in young people are among young people from key populations (YKP).

Young people from key populations include:

  • young people who sell sex;
  • young men who have sex with men (MSM);
  • young transgender persons (TG);
  • young people who inject drugs; and
  • young people living with HIV are also considered to be key populations in all countries

These populations are considered ‘key’ because they are both key to the dynamics of the epidemic and key to the HIV/AIDS response.

In recent years, efforts to expand prevention, treatment and care services to key populations have increased. However, the specific needs of young people from key populations are often overlooked. Many young people continue to face challenges specific to their age and circumstances including barriers to accessing essential services, and to meaningful and strategic participation in the HIV/AIDS response. The Asia Pacific Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations works to promote coordinated support from UN agencies and civil society partners to meet the HIV prevention, treatment, care and support needs of YKPs in the region.

Sources: NewGen Leadership Training Course for Young People from Key Populations – Facilitator Manual (Revised 2014); Short Course Training Manual – Understanding the Focus on Young People from Key Affected Populations in Concentrated and Low Prevalence HIV Epidemics (UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Office, 2012); UNAIDS 2016 estimates; Redefining AIDS in Asia – Crafting an effective response: Report on the Commission on AIDS in Asia, 2008.

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