Monday, November 26, 2012

HIV/Aids trend worrying

Statistics on HIV/Aids have, in recent years, demonstrated a decline in the rate of new infections, giving hope that the war against the pandemic was slowly being won.

However, new information indicates that the trend may have changed but the problem persists.

Research evidence from the National Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme (Nascop) shows that many new infections are being registered among new-born babies.

According to Nascop, 11,000 babies born every year are HIV-positive, meaning that mother-to-child infection is rising.

Part of the reason is that many women fall victim to sexual violence, sometimes perpetrated by HIV-positive men, infecting them and in case of pregnancy, their unborn babies too.

Added to this are certain cultural practices such as wife inheritance, which in some cases force women into sexual relationships with HIV-positive men.

Given the circumstances, new campaigns targeting pregnant mothers, especially in rural areas and in urban slums, should be mounted to reduce mother-to-child infections, which are becoming the new frontier for HIV-challenge.

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