The South African community, corporate and general public seem to have forgotten that HIV is still a pandemic in the country.
Yes, we may have HIV under semi-control with medication and healthy diets but there are still many hundreds of new infections daily.
HIV and AIDS – Excerpt from Avert
‘South Africa has the biggest and highest profile HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 7 million people living with HIV in 2015. In the same year, there were 380,000 new infections while 180,000 South Africans died from AIDS-related illnesses.
South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme globally and these efforts have been largely financed from its own domestic resources. The country now invests more than $1.5 billion annually to run its HIV and AIDS programmes.
However, HIV prevalence remains high (19.2%) among the general population, although it varies markedly between regions. For example, HIV prevalence is almost 40% in KwaZulu Natal compared with 18% in Northern Cape and Western Cape’.
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Excerpt Herald Live – Teenage Pregnancy (and younger)
More than 190 learners in Grade 3‚ 4 and 5 fell pregnant between 2014 and 2016‚ a response to a parliamentary question has revealed.
If learners from Grade 6 and 7 who fell pregnant are taken into account‚ the number jumps to 1‚449.
“This information should shock every South African‚” the DA’s MP and basic education portfolio committee member Sonja Boshoff said in a statement.
“Young girls‚ most under the legal age of 16‚ are having their futures undermined‚ likely through being taken advantage of or abused‚” Boshoff said.
She said further urgent questions would be submitted to ascertain whether these girls were under the age of 16‚ and if so‚ if any charges have been instituted against those responsible.
“Further numbers from the parliamentary reply show that 18‚357 pupils fell pregnant in 2014‚ 15‚504 in 2015‚ and 8‚732 in 2016.
“Although the overall numbers seem to indicate a drop in school pregnancies‚ the department was not able to provide the statistics for Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.”
“Traditionally‚ these two provinces account for large numbers of school pregnancies‚ a total of 6‚477 in 2014 and 5‚178 in 2015 combined.”
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My point here is, every single one of these girls is not only pregnant but have potentially been exposed to HIV and other STI related viruses.
What are WE going to do about this