News / Africa

    HIV Prevalence High Among South African Teen Girls

    HIV Prevalence High Among South African Teen Girlsi
    X
    November 28, 2013 3:07 PM
    The latest research shows that efforts to reduce new HIV infections among South African teens is working. But the bad news is that girls between the ages of 15 to 24 are three times more likely than boys to contract the virus. Thuso Khumalo has more for VOA News in Johannesburg.]]
    HIV Prevalence High Among South African Teen Girls
    The latest research shows that efforts to reduce new HIV infections among South African teens is working.  But the bad news is that girls between the ages of 15 to 24 are three times more likely than boys to contract the virus.
     
    The South African government said more people are getting tested for HIV, thanks in part to a governent campaign that urges  "Get wise, get tested, get circumcised."
     
    President Jacob Zuma himself led the call in 2010 when he was publicly tested for HIV and revealed negative results.  
     
    United Nations figures show that South Africa still has more than 6 million people living with HIV, but there is good news on new infections among teenagers.
     
    The Human Science Research Council of South Africa said HIV prevalence in youth between 15 to 24 years of age has dropped - from just over 10 (10.3) in 2005 to just over about 7 (7.3) percent in 2012.
     
    Scott Burnett is senior executive manager at LoveLife, an organization working for world without HIV.  He said these positive numbers are the result of vigorous awareness campaigns over the past few years.
     
    “Sex is far most spoken about, condoms are generally available, and people are beginning to realize that open, honest and early discussion about sex and sexuality don’t predispose young people to all the risk, they actually help them to avoid risk,” said Burnett.

    But girls are more at risk than boys.  UNICEF figures show HIV prevalence in girls is 13.6 percent compared to 4.5 percent for boys.  The question is why.
     
    Matebogo Mampani, a training specialist at SoulCity, said the lack of relevant HIV awareness messages targeted to young girls is the problem.

    “Sometimes you find that in the schools people wanna say abstain [from sex] -  abstain when basically there are children in the same school who are pregnant, there are condoms that are used lying around in the schools,” she said.

    Portia Munguambe, 19, a Lovelife peer educator, said there are other pressures - like poor girls getting lured by older men with gifts and cash and even food in exchange for sex.

    “Basically we have the issue of sugar mammies and sugar daddies.  You know, as teens we wanna fit into the lifestyle of having fancy things, for example having my hair done, having those heels [high heel shoes],” she explained.

    Portia said building self-esteem and confidence in young girls is part of the solution.  She also has some straight talk for her peers. “Be safe, condomize and do everything with your powers to protect yourself,” she stated.

    Portia said unless enough teenagers are trained to communicate such messages to kids their own age, it will be a long time before the rate of HIV prevalence among young girls comes down.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ron Low from: Chicago
    November 30, 2013 10:07 PM
    Wawer / Gray reported to the WHO in 2009 that circumcising Ugandan men made them 50% MORE likely to infect their female partners. These mass circumcision campaigns are going to be a disaster.

    by: jack
    November 28, 2013 11:48 AM
    " ... poor girls getting lured by older men with gifts and cash and even food in exchange for sex."

    And whom did those "infected" old men get HIV from? If they were only 4.5% infected as boys, how can they infect girls up to 13.6% when they're old? The figures don't add up. Infection flows downhill, from the most infected (women) to the less infected. Why not forget female victimhood for a change and try to get to the truth?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora