Mambwe District of Eastern Province has recorded 325 cases of teenage pregnancies and 343 cases of HIV infections in the first quarter of 2022.
Mambwe District AIDS Coordination Advisor Dalitso Daka said 325 teenage girls aged between 15 to 19 years fell pregnant in the first quarter of 2022.
In an interview with ZANIS, Mr. Daka disclosed that 87 girls aged between 10 and 14 years as well as 108 girls aged between 15 and 19 years tested positive to HIV in the same period and have been put on antiretroviral therapy.
Mr. Daka mentioned that 80 boys between the ages of 10 to 14 and 73 boys between the ages of 15 to 19 years old also tested positive to HIV in the first quarter of 2022 and have also been put on antiretroviral therapy.
Mr. Daka expressed sadness that teenagers especially the school going children were actively engaging in sexual activities without a care about the consequences of the risks.
He added that statistics indicate that only 40 percent of the teenagers who access condoms use them.
He said that statistics show that the numbers of girls who test positive for HIV are more than that of boys and wondered who really is having sexual intercourse with the teenage girls.
Mr. Daka further pointed out that many teenagers do not have access to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) which is why the district has started sensitizations on to promote those rights among adolescents.
“We have commenced sensitization meetings on SRHS with church leaders and traditional leaders as well as training peer educators so that teenagers can be reached and educated on SRHR,” he said.
Mr. Daka said the district had recorded 6,082 HIV cases as at March 2022.
Meanwhile, Mambwe District Victim Support Unit Coordinator Clemencia Mushekwa said that the district recorded three child marriages in the first quarter of 2022.
However, Ms. Mushekwa said the three marriages were dissolved and the victims involved were retrieved from the marriages.
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