This desk review by the African Union Commission and RIATT-ESA examines some of the existing literature to highlight what is known about the links between child marriage and HIV, and spotlights opportunities for further action.
Very few studies have explicitly explored the two phenomena. Given recent increases in the number of adolescent girls who are HIV-positive and the high numbers and rates of child marriage in countries with high HIV prevalence, the data do suggest a correlation between ending child marriage and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. Concerted action on both is undoubtedly needed. Ending child marriage should immediately be included in HIV programming, and can likely contribute to preventing, treating, stopping and eradicating HIV/AIDS.
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