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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid