HIV/AIDS: rearming the undefeated

Cases of vulnerability amongst young girls are predominant and much talked about now our days. Truth be told the rising number of sexually active teens is not only alarming but also cause for concern. Mrs Cathy Aba Fouda “Executive Director at RENATA and Sexual and Reproductive Health expert shares her views on ways to reduce vulnerability to HIV amongst young girl.

There are many angles to be taken into account when talking about the reduction of vulnerability to HIV in youths. It all begins from education, particularly taking into account basic sexual education from a very tender age which will go long way in breaking taboo which have been set around sex .There is a barrier to this which is our ways and our cultures in the sense that because many youths are exposed to early sexual activities as a result of the vision of the place of the young girl in the society she easily considers herself as sexual satisfaction tool. The young girl, especially in the African society is still considered inferior whereas she is an equal human just like the male, our society still tags the young girl inferior to the man because the young girl is the one who has to be submissive, who cannot give out a point of view sometimes in a plain relationship between two adolescents we often see that the boy is the one who always takes the lead in every major decision taken in the relationship. However, there is a way out as per reducing the vulnerability of the young girl to HIV:

  • Education: Education is very important especially when it comes to young girls. Being educated as a young girl is vital for her to embrace a desired career path, to be financially independent so as not to fall prey to indulging in an intimate relationship because of need (money).
  • Empowering young girls : Learning a skill is important especially an income generating skill for those young girls who either have not had the opportunity to study or who simply choose the technical part as it permits them have the resources necessary to buy sanitary pads during their menstrual periods and even meet their other needs.
  • Social media: The pressure that social media has on teens and young persons these days is alarming. There is need for each person to sensor the content to be viewed to project useful information to avoid sexual perversion.

There is need for proper education on female condoms, on the fact that a condom be it female or male is being used by both parties hence there is no need for a girl to feel obliged to ask for permission to use it in an intimate relationship.

The young girls these days are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection because of intergenerational sexual relationships (sexual partnership between a younger and older partner), violence, and limited access to information. The disease is fueled by gender inequality, the surge of considerable disparity between men and women.


Rhoda Abi

Journalist,consultant and highly-motivated communications Junky