HIV rampant among South African schoolgirls

Country's health minister says more than quarter of schoolgirls HIV positive, because "sugar daddies" exploiting them.

    HIV rampant among South African schoolgirls
    Motsoaledi called for an end to the trend of young girls becoming involved with older men [EPA]

    As many as 28 percent of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive, because older men are exploiting them, according to the country's health minister.

    Aaron Motsoaledi said on Thursday that four percent of schoolboys have the virus, proving it is "sugar daddies" who are responsible.

    "It is clear that it is not young boys who are sleeping with these girls. It is old men," the Sowetan newspaper quoted Motsoaledi as saying.

    "We can no longer live like that," he said.

    Motsoaledi called for an end to the trend of young girls becoming involved with older men.

    The minister also revealed that 94,000 South African schoolgirls fell pregnant in 2011, many aged as young as 10.

    South Africa has one of the world's highest HIV/AIDS infection rates, although the number of cases resulting in death is in sharp decline.

    Official figures show that South Africa has six million people living with HIV, in a population of 50 million.

    The country has the largest anti-retroviral programme in the world, serving 1.7 million.

    The health department recently introduced measures to curb the spread of HIV among school children, introducing voluntary testing and suggesting condom distribution at schools.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.