Mmegi Online :: Men and testing: Oil and water
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 21:38 pm.
Banners
Men and testing: Oil and water

Despite more than 30 years passing since HIV debuted in Botswana, regardless of the advances in care and management and even as the stigma around the disease has decreased, men are still reluctant to check their status. Mmegi Correspondent, LESEDI MKHUTSHWA finds that these attitudes are contributing to stubborn HIV rates
By Lesedi Mkhutshwa Fri 01 Dec 2017, 18:46 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Men and testing: Oil and water








Since the emergence of HIV in Botswana in the mid-1980s, the country has made great strides towards reigning in the epidemic and ensuring a future for new generations.

Today, various programmes and interventions, largely funded by government and NGOs, have helped reduce the prevalence and incidence rates, diffuse stigma and even prolong people’s lives.

Experts say today the major drivers of HIV and AIDS are behavioural and not necessarily about lack of access to prevention options, education or health care. In particular, the two major drivers of new infections, experts say, are intergenerational sexual activities and multiple sexual partner relationships.

Men are heavily complicit in both of these and yet they continue to shy away from testing activities, which would enable them to protect their partners and limit the spread of HIV. At a recent PEPFAR Botswana workshop hosted by the INK Centre for Investigative Journalism, experts noted that men’s reluctance to test for HIV was a major threat to government’s goal of crushing HIV by 2036. Many men engage in intergenerational relationships with young women and adolescent girls, effectively exposing new generations to HIV and leading to the disease’s stubbornly high prevalence in the country.

According to Peter Loeto, a public health specialist with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Botswana, figures from a recent study suggest that at least 1,600 men in Gaborone aged over 25 years do not know their HIV status.

In the majority of cases, the sexual partners of this age group of men are young women and adolescent girls.

“The majority of men who do not know their HIV status are sexually involved with younger women including adolescents who are still naïve,” Loeto said.

“This is leading to a high number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women, an increasing rate of teenage pregnancy, as well as higher rates of sexual and gender-based violence.

“It also impacts on the unemployment rate.” According to Loeto, young women aged between 14 and 24 years in Botswana are contracting HIV every day due to intergenerational sex, despite interventions such as the provision of free condoms and other means of protection.

“Some of these young women engage in unprotected sexual activities with their older partners

Banners

unwillingly,” he said.

“They do so because of their economic status. Due to this, they would do everything to please their partners.”

In response, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Botswana plans to target young women by teaching them various HIV preventative measures, which it is hoped will empower adolescents in particular from risky sexual behaviour.

Researches have shown that more young women and adolescents are at risk of transmitting HIV therefore there is a need for government interventions to save the future generation.

The trends in Botswana involving HIV incidence among young girls is being replicated across the world due to the same drivers of intergenerational sex. The United Nations Populations Fund’s (UNFPA) State of the World Population Report of 2013, estimates that every day 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth across the globe.  Although the numbers are not high in Botswana there is a growing concern regarding the increasing rate of teenage and adolescent pregnancies, which carry the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV.

According to the UNFPA’s report, Botswana for the period recorded 453 girls dropped out of both junior and secondary schools. International Training and Education Centre for Health (I-TECH) programme officer, Robert Moumakwa said that there is a need to build social values and strengthen family values so that they can instil good behaviour in the girl child.

He said that parents should take responsibility and look after their children so that they can be protected from intergenerational relationships.

“Parents should develop a bond by spending quality time with their girl child so that they don’t feel neglected. The minute they feel abandoned they will look for people who will pamper them and show them their significance. So in this particular case, young women start dating older men so that they may feel precious,” he told Mmegi.

Moumakwa said that the primary guardian should always make the children feel special and have a sense of entitlement, which gives children the feeling that they are in control of every decision they make in life. He added that if young women can take control of their lives, there are higher chances of them making wise decisions regarding their lives.

Banners
Banners
Banners


Features
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 18:46 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:27 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:22 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:07 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:07 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 15:46 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 15:46 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 15:45 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 14:53 pm
Tue 28 Nov 2017, 16:17 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 18:06 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 18:01 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 17:37 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 17:27 pm
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 12:23 pm
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 12:09 pm
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 11:45 am
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:55 pm
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:54 pm
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:48 pm
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 14:26 pm
Mon 06 Nov 2017, 17:39 pm
Fri 03 Nov 2017, 12:19 pm
Fri 03 Nov 2017, 11:45 am
Fri 03 Nov 2017, 11:45 am
Banners
Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Monday, 11 Dec 2017
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   10.3413
1 GBP = Pula   13.8696
1 EUR = Pula   12.1951
1 YEN = Pula   0.0911
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7582
1 Pula = USD   0.0967
1 Pula = GBP   0.0721
1 Pula = EUR   0.082
1 Pula = YEN   10.98
1 Pula = ZAR   1.319
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Tuesday 12 Dec - Tuesday 12 Dec :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Tuesday 12 Dec - Tuesday 12 Dec :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Tuesday 12 Dec - Tuesday 12 Dec :::
Selefu
Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Tourism
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort