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Positive Action for Adolescents

Addressing gaps in HIV prevention, testing and care, improving service provision and treatment outcomes for adolescents through to adulthood.

Worldwide, adolescents are the only population that is not seeing a decrease in new HIV cases or AIDS-related mortality.[1]

HIV/AIDS is currently the leading cause of death in adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death for adolescents worldwide (behind road traffic injuries).[2],[3]  In 2012, an estimated 2.1 million adolescents (between 10 and 19 years of age) were living globally with HIV,[4] the main burden of which is felt in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.1

Adolescents living with HIV are also underserved by current HIV services. Failure to support this population has resulted in a 50% increase in AIDS-related deaths in adolescents, compared to a 30% decline in the general population.[5]

Positive Action for Adolescents (PAA) is a 5 year £10 million commitment established in 2015 by ViiV Healthcare that aims to address gaps in HIV prevention, testing and care, while helping to improve service provision and treatment outcomes for adolescents through to adulthood.

Specifically, the programme supports the creation and evaluation of the impact of existing and new behavioural and/or service delivery interventions related to the following key areas for adolescents living with, or at risk of, HIV:

  • Improving HIV testing, linkage and retention of adolescents in care
  • Improving transition of adolescents to adult HIV care
  • Supporting onward disclosure of HIV status
  • HIV prevention
  • Building the capacity of adolescent community leaders

We recognise the importance of building the capacity and skills of adolescents and, through the programme, we aim to support the capacity building, engagement and mobilisation of adolescent leaders who can champion the needs of their population in their community and encourage strategic changes in policy and improvement in health service provision for adolescents.

PAA’s strategic objectives were defined in consultation with global partners and community experts to ensure we focus our funding on programmes that can deliver solutions that address some of the outstanding needs of adolescents living with HIV. PAA’s efforts therefore align to Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free, the super-fast-track framework for ending AIDS in children, adolescents and young women by 2020, and the CIPHER/WHO Global Research Agenda for Adolescents Living With HIV which prioritises research themes in the areas of testing, treatment and service delivery for informing global policy change and improving outcomes for adolescents living with HIV.



[1] Bekker LG, et al. J Int AIDS Soc. 2015; 18(Suppl 1): 20027.

[2] UNAIDS. Leaders from around the World are All in to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents. Available at: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2015/february/20150217_PR_all-in. Last accessed: July 2015.

[3] World Health Organization. Adolescents: health risks and solutions: Fact Sheet No345. 2014. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs345/en/. Last accessed: July 2015.

[4] Idele P, et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014; 66 (Suppl 2): S144-53.

[5] WHO/UNICEF. Adolescents falling through gaps in HIV services. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/hiv-adolescents-20131125/en/. Last accessed: July 2015