While still in his teens, Felix Limbani decided to help establish what he called "a platform where young people's voices could be heard" in his native Malawi, where those aged 10-29 make up roughly 60 percent of the population.

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The Africa Common Position on Universal Access to HIV-AIDS prevention, treatment, care and services which serves as a unified voice for the continent is important given that Africa is the continent with the highest burden of the disease, said the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Social Affairs, Bience Gawanas, at a press conference on Thursday.

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When police in Kenya's coastal tourist city of Mombasa conduct night raids, it is not unusual for a large number of sex workers arrested to be under 18.

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The General Assembly of African youth under the auspices of Pan African Youth Organisation against HIV/AIDS (PAYA) will open, today, in Kigali with an aim of setting a roadmap towards achieving youth-related Millennium Development Goals and sharing of information on HIV/AIDS.

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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are deeply concerned about the long-term sustainability of access to affordable HIV treatment.

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Maria Pelula has looked after two HIV-positive orphans in the past and is now bringing up 12-year-old Adrian*, the orphaned son of a relative, in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. But she still does not know how to tackle the sensitive subject of testing Adrian for HIV.

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While research on HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Communication conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in 2008 showed a decline in new HIV infections among teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 as well as a lowered prevalence among children between the ages of 2 and 14, the Department of Basic Education hopes to play a more active role in reducing the number of new infections, writes Gabi Khumalo.

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"I WAS raped when I was 18 years old in 1993. Due to the history of rape I did an HIV test in 2004 as I had not encountered any sexual relationship with any man. I did not disclose anything to anyone because back then, it was very hard.

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The Children's Rights Centre supports government's intention to extend and improve HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) for teens as part of the revitalisation of a sustained school health programme to improve the health status and overall wellbeing of teens. We are encouraged by the Minister of Health's emphasis on the 'bigger picture', rather than targeting numbers for a once off campaign.

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The future of many girls in Malawi is in jeopardy. Poverty-stricken parents are marrying their daughters off at a tender age, robbing young girls of their right to education and exposing them to gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS in a country with one of the world's highest prevalence rates.

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