Up to 28% Of South African School Aged Girls are HIV Positive
South African health ministry officials recently revealed that up to 28 percent of South African school aged girls are HIV positive. Responding to the news, South Africa’s health minister said it “destroyed” his soul. Four percent of school boys also have the virus.
“It is clear that it is not young boys who are sleeping with these girls. It is old men,” the Sowetan newspaper quoted Mr Motsoaledi as saying on Thursday.
“We can no longer live like that,” he said.
Motsoaledi said it is time to end the tradition of young girls becoming involved with “sugar daddies”.
An issue that the health minister did not go after nearly as aggressively as “sugar daddies” was whether a portion of the HIV infected girls had been forced to have s*x against their will.
In addition to the AIDS epidemic, Motsoaledi also revealed that 94,000 South African schoolgirls became pregnant in 2011, some as pre-teens.
South Africa has one of the world’s highest HIV rates, and would probably benefit from taking lessons from Rwanda, which has seen its HIV rate shrink 80 percent because of measures taken by the government.
To curb diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, Rwanda instituted community health care plan which has an annual premium of $2. Unlike America’s health care system, though, Rwanda’s ensures that even the poorest people receive medical care.
Also, Rwanda trained 45,000 community health workers that provide in-home care and psychosocial support for HIV patients as well as basic primary care for the rest of their communities.
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