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South Africa: 28% of school girls are HIV positive •As health minister blames ‘sugar daddies’ for spreading the virus

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A report has indicated that about 28 per cent of South African school girls are still living with HIV, despite the marked progress in curbing the HIV epidemic, compared with just four per cent of boys.

According to the statistics released to the media by South African Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, at a National Council of Provinces meeting, called “taking Parliament to the people” at Carolina, Mpumalanga.

The statistics reveals that 94,000 schoolgirls fell pregnant across the country in 2011 with 77,000 having abortions at public facilities.

He further explained that there are also a high number of TB infections.

He expressed shock over the statistics, saying it “destroyed his soul” and blamed the “sugar daddies” infecting young girls with the virus and moved for action to be taken against them.

The minister emphasised that it was not the boys who slept with the girls but the “sugar daddies” in the country, premising it on the fact if it were to be the boys, only four per cent of them would not have been HIV positive.

According to the minister, “many of the pregnant girls, who were aged between 10 and 14 tested positive to HIV.  

South Africa has been involved in one of the world’s largest anti-retroviral (ARV) programmes since President Jacob Zuma appointed Mpumalanga health minister in 2009.

Reports had it that the HIV prevalence that in South Africa remained the highest among women in age group 30 to 34 years, increasing from 41.5 per cent in 2009 to 42.2 per cent in 2011.

Among the 35-to-39 year-olds, the prevalence rate has increased from 35.4 per cent in 2009 to 39.4 per cent in 2011.

The reason for the higher prevalence rates among older women was said to be as a result of age groups getting infected earlier in their lives, and were now moving into a higher age group according to the survey.

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