UNAIDS: South Africa Launches HIV Prevention Campaign for Women & Girls
The Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, launched an ambitious national campaign to prevent HIV among young women and adolescent girls on 24 June in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The campaign will respond to the unacceptably high rate of new HIV infections among young women and adolescent girls in the country.
Almost 2000 new HIV infections occur among young women and adolescent girls (aged 15–24) in South Africa each week, a rate two and a half times that among males of the same age. The name of the campaign—Isibani se Sizwe (Light of the Nation)—reflects the importance of the health of young women and adolescent girls to development in South Africa. The campaign, developed with technical support from UNAIDS, seeks to reduce the interlinked problems of HIV, school dropout, teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence and to maximize health, education and economic opportunities for young women and adolescent girls.
The three-year campaign will focus initially on the subdistricts with the highest incidence of HIV and will increase access to sexual and reproductive health information and services through adolescent- and youth-friendly clinics, the Integrated School Health Programme, community and peer outreach and support and parenting programmes for parents of teenagers and for teenage and young parents.