Prevention still priority in HIV fight

Mmegi Online
Mpho Mokwape
Original Article:

Addressing a United Nations Eastern and Southern Africa HIV/AIDS Network meeting, Muzila said prioritising prevention especially among young people should be central in fighting the scourge as it threatened the existence of family foundations.

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic is not only threatening the physical health and survival of millions of children across the globe but it is also destroying their families and depriving them parental love, care and protection,” she said.

Muzila explained that research was needed on selecting and optimising the combinations for greatest effect, particularly among adolescents and young people.

“Signi?cant gaps in HIV prevention remain for adolescents. In order for nations to prevent the spread of new infections, adolescents and young people need accurate and relevant information about HIV, along with a safe environment in which they can talk openly about risky behaviour.

“This must be accompanied by access to voluntary counselling and testing, HIV education in schools, prevention of other sexually transmitted infections as well as psychosocial support,” she said. Muzila said there was also a need for young people to be fully informed of their health status so that they could make informed decisions regarding their actions and life choices, including managing their own health as well as disclosing and making healthy sexual choices.

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