Men, power & money key to women’s HIV risk, youth say

Black women hardest hit by lockdown
Women putting braids (File Image)
Nomthandazo Kumalo works with the Treatment Action Campaign to do HIV and sex education at East Rand schools, hoping to reach South Africa's most vulnerable population when it comes to HIV - other young women.
Nomthandazo Kumalo works with the Treatment Action Campaign to do HIV and sex education at East Rand schools, hoping to reach South Africa’s most vulnerable population when it comes to HIV – other young women.

The latest national household HIV survey by the Human Sciences Research Council shows that almost quarter of all new infections in South Africa occur among young women between the ages of 15 and 24 years.

New infections among this group of women are more than four times those seen in their male peers due to a range of factors.

Science tells us that women’s anatomy makes them more vulnerable to contracting the virus. Research says that a range of other factors including gender-based violence, unequal power dynamics in relationships and poverty exacerbate this biological vulnerability.

This Women’s Month, we ask young women and men why they think young women are more vulnerable to HIV.

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An edited version of this story also appeared on Health24

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