HIV campaigns must be redirected: experts

HIV campaigns must be redirected: experts

A link in the high prevalence of HIV infections among young girls and older men still exists amongst our society. 


That's what a panel of professors, religious and community leaders heard during a discussion held at University of KwaZulu-Natal's Pietermaritzburg campus last night.

Professor Beverly Haddad says studies they have come across indicate that young girls in rural areas between the ages of 15 and 24 date older, often married men for basic needs. 

She says in urban areas the trend is the same, however, girls of the same age group choose to do so as it is something that is seen as a social status. 

Haddad says the HIV prevention model needs to shift to speak more to men.

"It has to engage men in actually understanding some of the cultural backgrounds that lie behind the idea that all the men can have many girlfriends even though they might be married. 

"So, [looking at the] faith community, particularly because the most faith leaders are men. We are really encouraging them to begin to find ways of engaging men in preventing HIV infection," she said. 

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