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‘All hands on deck approach needed to tackle high HIV and teenage pregnancy’

todayJune 22, 2023 200

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The Soul City Institute for Social Justice says South Africa needs to be more intentional about addressing the social determinants of HIV infections, teen pregnancy and the rape culture that’s in the country.

The organisation’s CEO, Phinah Kodisang, was reacting to news that more than 1 300 young people between the ages of 15 to 24 test positive for the virus weekly.

The South African National Aids Council’s (SANAC) Nelson Dlamini revealed these shocking numbers during day one of the four-day, 11th SA Aids Conference, which is currently underway in Durban KwaZulu-Natal.
These numbers have raised a lot of concern with calls mounting for all members of society to play an active role in teaching young people about safe sex, as appose to them seeking advise among their peers.

The horrific stats also coincided with the KZN Health MEC’s revelations that over 26 000 girls aged between 10 and 19 years fell pregnant between last April and December.

Kodisang says this problem needs all hands on deck.

The Southern African HIV Clinicians Society says the issue of young people aged 15-29 bearing the brunt of the HIV pandemic in the country is closely intertwined with the alarmingly high rates of teenage pregnancy.

The Society attributed this to various factors challenges, including poor access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services, and the stigma associated with HIV and teenage pregnancies.

The Soul City Institute for Social Justice emphasises that collective action is need to address the spike in HIV infections among the youth, teenage pregnancy and the rape culture that’s endemic in the country.

The organisation’s CEO, Phinah Kodisang, says South Africa needs to be more intentional about addressing the social determinants of the scourge.

 

 

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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