Kafue District Adolescent Coordinator Charity Bwalya has expressed concern with the escalating HIV infections among the Adolescents in the District.
Speaking at the Adolescent quarterly stakeholders meeting in Kafue District Ms. Bwalya said it is worrying that HIV infections and teen-age pregnancies continue to rise among young people despite numerous interventions.
Ms. Bwalya noted that there is a need to establish why HIV infection keeps rising and to come up with strategies that will help to address the scourge.
“HIV infections have continued to increase despite the intervention that is being done by government and other stakeholders, where is the problem?,” said Ms. Bwalya.
She said a number of girls in schools are taking advantage of the re-entry policy which allows young girls who fall pregnant to go back to school once they give birth.
Ms. Bwalya emphasized the need to educate young girls on the dangers of engaging in illicit sex, drug, and alcohol abuse.
Kafue District Adolescent Health Champion Jomo Banda attributed the rise in HIV infections and teenage pregnancies to poor parenting.
Mr. Banda said many parents today are preoccupied with their work at the expense of grooming their children.
“We have a lot of absentee parents, and many children are growing up without guidance from their parents.
Mr. Banda said some parents do not have time to talk about sexual matters with their children which has led to the escalating number of infections among the adolescents
He called upon parents to take responsibility and educate their children on the dangers of indulging in unlawful sex.
Meanwhile, Kafue Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Programme Officer Conrad Habasune said peer pressure and access to social media platforms have contributed to the high levels of HIV infections among the youth.
Mr. Habasune said young girls are indulging in illegal sex so that they can have money to buy smartphones which can enable them to access social media platforms.
“Peer pressure and technology are forcing a number of girls to get involved in sex so that they can buy these expensive phones, hence the rise in HIV infections,” said Mr. Habasune.
Kafue district recorded over 200 teenage pregnancies in the third quarter of 2022.