About five million people in South Africa are HIV positive, which is about 10% of the total population. Those numbers are higher when looking at the school-age female population. Over 25% of school-aged girls are HIV positive, some as young as 10 years old.
Even more shocking, it is not because they are sleeping with school-aged boys their age of which about 4% are infected, but because older “sugar-daddies” are having sexual relations with them and ultimately infecting them with the disease.
Another problem South Africa is dealing with is the large number of school-aged girls that are getting pregnant. About 94,000 schoolgirls got pregnant in 2011, and 77,000 of them had abortions. A large number of those who carried their babies to term, most likely infected them with HIV, therefore continuing this unfortunate cycle.
Ever since President Jacob Zuma appointed Mr. Motsoaledi as health minister in 2009, South Africa has run the world’s largest life-saving anti-retroviral program, and the number of HIV-positive people receiving the drugs has doubled from 678,500 to 1.5 million people.
Title: South Africa “Over 25% Schoolgirls HIV Positive”
Author: Not Stated
Source Name: BBC News Africa
Date of Publication: March 14, 2013
URL Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21783076
Student Researcher: Alisa Susan (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Jacob Aharonian (Santa Rosa Junior College)