Experts are warning that the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa will explode again unless parents and teachers start talking to teenagers about sex.
Luiz Loures is the deputy executive director of UNAIDS. He says, “Nobody wants to talk about adolescents having sex. (But) if we don’t break these taboos … if we don’t change in the next five years, this epidemic is going to explode again.”
Complications associated with HIV and AIDS are the main cause of death among 10 to 19-year-olds in Africa. This is the only age group globally in which AIDS-related deaths are rising.
Globally, 2.1 million adolescents live with HIV, with 80 per cent of these in Africa. The majority do not know they have HIV and became infected at birth or through breastfeeding.
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Photo: A girl who trades sex for basic needs speaks during an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation about HIV/AIDS at a health clinic within the Korogocho slum, in Nairobi, February 16, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Katy Migiro