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Say 'no', king urges girls

By unknown | Sep 16, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini says statistics showing a decline in the prevalence of HIV-Aids in KwaZulu-Natal should not prompt young people to be careless in their sexual behaviour.

Addressing thousands of bare-breasted maidens at the eNyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma during the annual Reed Dance ceremony, he said people should be more cautious to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Last month Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said that the prevalence rate of HIV-Aids infections showed a one percent drop last year.

Tshabalala-Msimang said the 2007 antenatal survey found that there was a prevalence rate of 28 percent, compared with 29 percent the previous year.

She said the rate of increase, especially among the youth and women aged between 20 and 24, had slowed down.

She said these trends showed that the country's prevention strategies were beginning to make a difference.

"The onus is on you to take the message of HIV prevention seriously by valuing yourselves and abstaining from sex before marriage - a message many youngsters find difficult to grapple with," she said.

She singled out poverty as the instrument used to lure young people into sex and unsafe sex.

Zwelithini said: "I have always spoken about the need for people to plough the land.

"Agriculture is the only weapon we can and should use to fight poverty. To you young girls, when a man approaches you and promises to buy you nice clothes, say no.

"Even if he promises to drive you around in nice cars, say no."


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