_: Teenage pregnancy is extremely common in South Africa. Whilst its ‘problematic’ nature is a subject of debate, it reflects a pattern of sexual activity which puts teenagers at risk of HIV. This creates a new imperative to understand teenage pregnancy and the pattern of high risk sexual activity of which it is one consequence.
Therefore in order for government to respond to the prevention of new HIV infections through addressing the structural, social, economic and behavioural factors that drive the HIV and TB epidemics it is imperative that we address the sexual reproductive health and rights of adolescents.
One of the interventions we are in the process of adopting is the social behaviour change approach to respond to the social drivers of the epidemic such as early sexual debut , multiple and concurrent sexual partners and alcohol and substance abuse.
These factors are driving unwanted and unplanned pregnancies as well as HIV and STIs. Therefore one of the responses to HIV and AIDS is conduct dialogues with the vulnerable population to address these social drivers.
The dialogues will therefore be with teenage mothers and girls aged between 13 and 18 years old. The information sourced from the dialogues will be used to strengthen a comprehensive HIV prevention programme for the youth and to curb teenage sexual activities and teenage pregnancy.
The dialogues will be facilitated by the National and Provincial Department of Social Development on the 17 to 18 August 2013 at the Moremogolo FET College in Galeshewe from 09h00.
The media is hereby invited to attend the dialogues.
Cell: 079 873 0679