12 June 2019

South Africa: Blessers, Blessees & HIV - SA's Risky Relations and What to Do About Them

Bhekisisa's latest policy dialogue takes a deep dive into one of the biggest challenges facing SA's HIV response at the 9th Aids conference.

The data is stark and incontrovertible: HIV is spreading faster among teenage girls and young women than in any other group in South Africa.

Almost four out of every 10 new HIV infections in the country occur among women between the ages of 15 and 24 - an infection rate up to four times that of their male peers.

The key driver? Age-disparate sex.

Watch our live stream here:

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism invites you to a policy dialogue at the 9th South African Aids Conference on the effects of blessers and blessees on HIV transmission, and possible solutions to the situation.

Hear from young women, sexual and reproductive rights activists and HIV experts about what can be done to protect young women.

Panellists include:

Yogan Pillay, deputy director-general, South African National Department of Health

Salim Abdool-Karim, director, Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa)

Lerato Mafokeng, deputy chairperson, South African National Aids Council's (SANAC) youth sector

Mandisa Dlamini, founder and director, Gugu Dlamini Foundation

Helen Rees, founder and executive director, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute

Natsayi Chimbindi, epidemiologist, Africa Health Research Institute

The panel will be moderated by Mia Malan, executive director and editor-in-chief of Bhekisisa.

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