Asiphe Cokile
Tswarello Monyane

Conversation about HIV-AIDS amongst young women and girls in the province will soon be the story of our lives. Thanks to the Gauteng provinces health department.

In a foray to eradicate the spread of HIV and AIDS the department will soon unveil a campaign which will be named “Our-Moment” aimed at socializing girls and young woman to start making conversation about HIV and also share among themselves on how to end the epidemic.

According to the department, the magnitude of the epidemic is sustained particularly by the relentless cycle of vulnerability affecting girls and young women.

The department further says the ‘Our Moment’ campaign seeks to ensure that young girls vulnerability to HIV is understood from their perspective, and also their health rights are prioritized within these HIV programmatic Interventions. The campaign seeks to build momentum towards Youth Frank Dialogue that will be hosted by the Department mid-August, It also offers girls an opportunity to raise their voices.

The departments MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, is on record saying, “We ask girls, in particular, to join the campaign and make this their moment to appreciate a world that recognizes girls power and prioritizes their voices,”

She also pointed out that HIV infection rates among teenage girls are often much higher than in teenage boys, arguing that the reason lies in girls greater biological and social vulnerability, girls often risk infection very early.

“Compounding the biological vulnerability of girls is complex and unhealthy societal expectations that many girls and young women have less control over their lives and bodies than do their male counterparts.”

“Young women and girls grow and navigate their sexual health and relationships in a context of extremely high levels of HIV infection and throughout their life cycle, they face disempowering social and cultural norms and attitudes governing their sexual relations. In this context, HIV prevention interventions that only address technical needs are Insufficient in reversing the epidemic”.

The department also believes that 2015 presents an opportunity to make a change and it all begins with a conversation.

Mahlangu further explained that the department can no longer afford to focus their HIV prevention efforts to reach young people, and in particular young women and girls, on some general programmatic areas. “We need to start a conversation with our girls and young women.”

Did You Know?

Girls are asked to share a selfie wherein they pledge to contribute towards an
AIDS free society by doing something positive.
This can be posted on social media of their choice using #OurMoment2015.

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