Over quarter of S.African schoolgirls HIV positive

March 14, 2013

As many as 28 percent of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive, according to figures from the country's health minister reported by local media on Thursday.

Unveiling statistics that minister Aaron Motsoaledi admitted "destroyed my soul," he added that four percent of schoolboys have the virus.

"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 becoming involved with "sugar daddies."

Motsoaledi also revealed that 94,000 South African schoolgirls fell pregnant in 2011, some aged as young as 10.

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

Official figures show that 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.

Explore further: South Africa reports new success in saving newborns from HIV

Related Stories

S.Africa marks AIDS day with record ribbon

December 2, 2012

South Africa, home to the world's largest HIV caseload, on Saturday unveiled a 1.5 kilometre AIDS ribbon in Johannesburg, with activists and officials pledging to curb the epidemic.

Recommended for you

Study unlocks secret of common HIV strain

October 13, 2016

A discovery that the most common variant of the HIV virus is also the "wimpiest" will help doctors better treat millions of individuals around the world suffering from the deadly disease, according to one of the world's leading ...

Children could point the way to new HIV treatments

September 29, 2016

Children with HIV who can resist the disease progressing could point the way to new treatments for HIV infection that are more widely applicable to infected adults and children alike, an international team of researchers ...

Broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies pave the way for vaccine

September 26, 2016

A small number of people infected with HIV produce antibodies with an amazing effect: Not only are the antibodies directed against the own virus strain, but also against different sub-types of HIV that circulate worldwide. ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.