Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with 49.6 percent of its population under the age of 18 (UNICEF, 2015a). Children and adolescents are at the heart of Africa’s social and demographic transition: it isexpected that 861 million children will be living in Africa by 2050 (ACPF, 2014). Sub-Saharan Africa ishome to 88% of the world’s 2.6 million HIV-positive children (0–14 years)(UNICEF, 2015d).
HIV infectionposes a serious risk to adolescents in Eastern and Southern Africa, with an estimated 104,000 newinfections amongst adolescents (ages 15–19) in 2014 (UNAIDS, 2015). 72% of these new adolescentinfections were girls (UNICEF, 2015d). Furthermore, AIDS-related illness is the leading cause of deathamongst adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2015a). Since 2000, the number of adolescent deathshas tripled, in a time in which such deaths are decreasing in all other groups (WHO, 2015a). Of the 1.6million adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 1.2 million are located in Easternand Southern Africa (UNICEF, 2015d).
This report was commissioned by the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Inter-agency Task Team on Children Affected by AIDS (RIATT-ESA) to inform the strategic direction of RIATT-ESA’s advocacy programme on the viability of child-sensitive social protection mechanisms in the region. It provides a comprehensive literature and policy review on child-sensitive social protection and ART adherence in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA). This region has the world’s highest HIV prevalence in children and adolescents (UNAIDS, 2015).