The majority of sexually active girls aged 15–19 in developing countries are married, and married adolescent girls tend to have higher rates of HIV infection than their sexually active, unmarried peers. Married adolescent girls represent a sizable fraction of adolescents at risk and experience some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence of any group. Nonetheless, married adolescents have been marginal in adolescent HIV/AIDS policies and programs and have not been the central subjects for programs aimed at adult married women. This paper offers a partial explanation for why married adolescents have so often been overlooked, the reasons why marriage might bring elevated risk of HIV, initial analytic tools to assist policymakers in determining how to accord appropriate levels of priority to the marriage process, five brief case studies, and a menu of potential policy interventions and actions to make married adolescents an integral part of reproductive health and HIV-prevention initiatives.
Bruce, Judith and Shelley Clark. 2004. "Including married adolescents in adolescent reproductive health and HIV/AIDS policy," paper prepared for the WHO/UNFPA/Population Council Technical Consultation on Married Adolescents. New York: Population Council.