THE battle to end the HIV/Aids epidemic is far from over, despite predictions by many countries that the days of the virus are numbered.
World leaders, scientists, health workers and Aids activists last week gathered in Durban for the 21st international conference and to celebrate the possible end of HIV/Aids by 2030.
As the conference wrapped up on Friday, health leaders agreed that their biggest problem is to overcome the high number of new infections among girls between the ages of 15 and 24.
KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said poverty causes an increase in infections among girls and women.
“Poverty leads girls and women to older men, who take advantage by promising to rescue them from poverty. Some men don’t use protection and then infect the girls with HIV,” he said.
“We’ll run a campaign at schools to convince girls not to give their bodies to older men in exchange for money.”
Dr Linda-Gail Bekker of the Desmond Tutu Foundation said there should also be a programme that educates men that it is not right to take advantage of vulnerable girls.