Visual Aids used in Sexy Smarts workshops. (Photo credit: Ruth Loubser)

Addressing HIV and Teen Pregnancy in South Africa

Increasing rates of new HIV infections and teen pregnancy which disrupts the education of African girl children especially continue to challenge our society and carry both financial and personal costs. The following quotes mention that both are directly linked to lack of information and personal agency.

“During the 2012 round of the survey information ….. the country has indeed succeeded in the roll –out of treatment to people living with HIV / AIDS. Although the high rate of new HIV infections especially amongst young women aged 15 -24 is troubling and can be associated with social factors such as age – disparate relationships that should be addressed with urgency. The research findings also revealed that the knowledge levels have declined and is accompanied by an increase in risky sexual behaviours.” South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey (2008 and 2012) Human Sciences Research Council [i]

“When exploring knowledge, access and use of contraceptives we found that many teenagers have a basic knowledge about contraceptives and protection from unplanned pregnancies, STIs and HIV. However many report insufficient contraception knowledge and not using contraceptives correctly and consistently as well as limited reproductive knowledge about fertility and conception.” Review of Teenage Pregnancy in South Africa by Department of Basic Education [ii]

[i] South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey – HSRC

[ii] Teenage pregnancy in South Africa – Department of Basic Education