October 19, 2009
The Fifth Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, now underway in Beijing, has issued a call for better sexual health services for young people. "Few young people receive adequate preparation for their sexual lives. This leaves them potentially vulnerable to coercion, abuse and exploitation, unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV," said the Youth Declaration, which was announced Sunday. The risks of HIV transmission are exacerbated by poverty and malnutrition in the region, said the statement, which challenged national governments and civil societies to better target prevention services to young people, particularly those in marginalized groups. The conference -- co-sponsored by the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China, the UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation -- concludes Tuesday. For more information, visit www.5apcrshr.org.