12 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Uneducated Adolescence Twice Likely to Acquire HIV Than the Educated - Report

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has set its sight on ensuring access to HIV prevention services by adolescence from Africa after a report released earlier this week showed that HIV has become the leading cause of death among its adolescence.

According to UNAIDS 2019 report, uneducated girls are twice as likely to acquire HIV than those who have some schooling.

The report further notes that once enrolled in HIV-related care, young people aged 15-19 years are more likely than adults to drop out.

Commenting on the just released report, Chairperson of the parliamentary committee on health and child care, Dr Ruth Labode, emphasized on the need to give access to young girls on Sexual Health and Reproduction Services.

"The Health and Child Care Committee is pushing for the government to consider providing Sexual Reproductive Health Services to avoid unwanted pregnancies and spread of STI's," Dr Labode said.

The UNAIDS report cite stigma and discrimination, especially surrounding adolescent girls' sexuality, alongside HIV disclosure issues and travel and waiting times at clinics among the reasons for low adherence among adolescence.

UNAIDS recommended providing access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning. while addressing stigma and discrimination, particularly in the healthcare sector.

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