Empowering adolescents with PrEP


"PrEP provides an opportunity for empowering adolescents to take control of their sexual health."

Niluka Perera is a youth advocate who spoke at a recent meeting at the IAS 2015 conference in Vancouver this past July. The meeting convened by UNICEF, brought together 58 scientists, researchers, government, community and development partners, and youth advocates to consider the clinical, ethical and operational issues associated with implementing oral PrEP among sexually active older adolescents aged 15-19 in populations at high risk of HIV infection.

Dr Chris Beyrer, the President of the International AIDS Society (IAS), opened the consultation, urging the inclusion of older adolescents at substantially high risk of HIV acquisition in PrEP demonstration projects as part of targeted combination HIV prevention strategies. Without greater focus and innovation in preventing HIV among young people, he said, ‘the world could not end the AIDS pandemic’. The consultation on PrEP use in adolescents, he added, would provide a solid basis to inform the upcoming World Health Organization (WHO) PrEP implementation guidelines and provide recommendations. The main take-away is that delivery of PrEP in a safe space for older adolescents, as part of a combination HIV prevention will be key to maximizing success.

Read the full meeting report for a detailed overview here.