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Even though the teen pregnancy rate has declined over the past few decades, the fact of the matter is that the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of the Western industrialized world.

It is true that the teen pregnancy and birth rate was much higher prior to 1980 (and especially in the 1950s and 1960s), but at the time young women were getting married and having children before the age of 20.

In 2015, Zambia’s National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC), FHI360 and the Tropical Diseases Research Centre conducted a study of more than 1,000 female sex workers and male long-distance truck drivers.

Findings suggest HIV prevalence among female sex workers was as high as 73% in Chirundu, a town on the border with Zimbabwe.22 In the study, 47% of female sex workers reported having had five or more different partners in the last seven days and nearly 9% reported 10 to 14 sex partners over the same period.

Young women are significantly more likely to have an older partner who may be living with HIV already; they are also likely to experience their first sexual intercourse at a younger age.

Education attainment is also higher among young men than young women, which means men are more likely to be exposed to HIV education.12 The enactment of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act took place in 2011, with a view to changing the unequal structure of society.13 In the coming years it is hoped that this change in law will help to stop women being so disproportionately affected by HIV.

11 HIV prevalence among young women was more than double that of young men (5.7% of young women were living with HIV in 2017, compared to 2.5% of young men).

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7 Marginalised groups such as sex workers, transgender people, prisoners, people who inject drugs, gay men and other men who have sex with men are also disproportionately affected by HIV.

As a result of ineffective or inaccessible treatment, 3,400 children died of AIDS-related illness in 2017.20 The power of peer support: reaching teenagers in Lusaka In Lusaka, the Comprehensive PMTCT for At-Risk Teens Programme is enabling teenagers to access youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services run by adolescents who are trained as peer educators.

The programme, which began in 2015 and is funded by the M. C AIDS Fund, provides youth-friendly rooms staffed by teen peer educators in eight government health facilities in suburban areas.

In 2018, around 48,000 adults and 5,400 children became newly infected with HIV in Zambia.1 New infections are slowly decreasing - in 2010, 47,000 adults and 8,800 children were newly infected with HIV.2 Overall, this equates to a 13% reduction in new infections since 2010.3 In the same year around 1.2 million people in Zambia were living with HIV and 17,000 people died from an AIDS-related illnesses.4 The number of people newly diagnosed with HIV and with active tuberculosis (TB) entering care has fallen significantly from 66% in 2015 to 10 2017.5 The country has a generalised HIV epidemic driven by heterosexual sex.

In 2018, 11.3% of adults were living with HIV, a slight reduction on 2010 levels when 13% of adults were living with HIV 6 Women, particularly adolescent girls and young women, are worse affected than men.What is currently known is that men who have sex with men experience a heightened vulnerability to HIV for a variety of reasons including alcohol abuse, low levels of education, low economic status and being subjected to discrimination.26 In its 2014 progress report, the Zambian government references a small-scale 2008 study, which puts HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men at just 1%.