The implications of early marriage for HIV/AIDS policy.


This brief is based on a background paper prepared for the WHO/UNFPA/Population Council Technical Consultation on Married Adolescents, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 9–12 December 2003 (the final paper, “Including married adolescents in adolescent reproductive health and HIV/AIDS policy,” by Judith Bruce and Shelley Clark, is forthcoming and will be available at in June 2004). The Consultation brought together experts from the United Nations, donors, and nongovernmental agencies to consider the evidence regarding married adoles- cent girls’ reproductive health, vulnerability to HIV infection, social and economic disadvantage, and rights. The rela- tionships to major policy initiatives—including safe motherhood, HIV, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights—were explored, and emerging findings from the still relatively rare programmes that are directed at this population were discussed. The meeting and specific papers were supported in part by funding from The Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Population Council, U.K. Department for International Development, UNFPA, and WHO.


Judith Bruce, Director of Gender, Family, and Development, International Programs Division, Population Council.



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