Give youth access to condoms‚ sanitary wear at school: Section27
“Access to condoms in schools‚ youth friendly clinics and access to sanitary wear in schools.”
Those are the demands made in the Youth Declaration which‚ Section27 said on Wednesday‚ was signed by “92 organisations and individuals” at the 2016 International AIDS Conference.
“Clinics are currently not safe and friendly places for learners and young children‚” said a Section27 statement.
“When they ask for condoms or HIV testing they yet reprimanded and are now choosing to stay away from clinics which is making them even more vulnerable.”
The scarcity of sanity wear‚ the public interest law centre said‚ means “7-million girl learners are missing school every month…which means they miss out on 25% of learning during the school year”.
“Girls are forced to use unhygienic substitutes as sanitary pads — newspaper‚ leaves or even sand — putting them at an even higher risk of infection.”
Section27 said: “Today we are demanding the Minister of Health‚ Dr Aaron Motsoaledi‚ accepts this declaration and treats these demands as a matter of urgency.”
It cited figures from “a 2012 National Survey on HIV” to emphasise the seriousness of the issue:
- Every week in SA more than 2500 young people acquire HIV or‚ more than 350 every day;
- 37.5% of learners reported having had sex‚ with 12.6% indicating that their first sexual encounter occurred before the age of 14; and
- The use of condoms for people between the ages of 18 and 24 is on the decrease. – TMG Digital