Thursday , January 21 2021

Cross generational relationships fuel HIV AIDS spread among young people


Nqobile Tshili, correspondent

ZIMBABWE took serious steps in the fight against the HIV and AIDS virus that ravaged the continent at the beginning of the millennium.

Unlike the end of the millennium, when HIV and AIDS was considered a death sentence, the disease now calms down with most people who may be deceived that in case they are infected they will gain access to antiretroviral drugs.

Some HIV and AIDS activists have even gone to the extent of describing HIV positivity as a "state of health" rather than disease.

Although activists could successfully alleviate the disease to fight the stigma and promote acceptance from those infected and affected by the disease, social analysts say this also increases the dangers of people who are reckless in sexual behavior, leaving them are on unprotected sex and bargaining on HIV.

Some of the successes of the country include the provision of medicines for children born with HIV positive and can live a long healthy life.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care, a Zimbabwe report on HIV assessments and projections 2017, shows that some 77,000 children and 69,000 adolescents live with HIV.

It is celebrated in the country that children born with HIV can live a healthy life, however, worries have increased over the behavior of adolescents in general.

The age group, which is commonly referred to as "ama2000 "using the language of the streets to refer to teenagers born after 2000, are synonymous with hosting wild high school parties characterized by intense sexual orgies, drug and alcohol abuse, exposure to HIV.

The nature of the Vouz parties is of interest to parents, health experts, and law enforcement agents. This comes amid new discoveries that some families carefully guard the secrets where HIV-born children are not told about their ailments.

The Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP +), Mr. Sebastian Cineare, said it was still a challenge for some parents and carers to reveal to children that they were born infected with HIV.

"First and foremost, relatives do not inform children who are positive about their status. Some even say that they are taking medication for other diseases. But in the end, the children get acquainted especially when they are teenagers who psychologically influence them. But those who receive counseling are authorized to live positively with HIV. However, the problem starts when the data starts, they do not want to find out, they do not even want people to know that they are positive, "said Mr. Cineare.

He said that what is worrying is that these young people, like other teenagers, could be tempted to engage in sexual activity.

The Bulavao-based organization, which deals with over 3,000 HIV-born children, the Millions of Memory Project, Zimbabwe (MMPP), shared Mr Chineaar's concerns over non-disclosure that may even expose them to repeated infections .

The director of the MIHP, Trevor Chirimbova, said that some of the positive children also suffer from low self-esteem that makes them vulnerable to peer pressure.

"In most cases you will find that they really want to announce their status, but they do not end because people are running away from them when they discover their status," Chirimambova said, adding that the Bush parties could have an impact on the uncertain behavior among teenagers.

"The danger to someone who is not sure, who has low self-esteem is that it can easily fall on peer pressure. This can result in disasters that will get them into something that exposes others to HIV. those who are negative, but a positive person who advocates unprotected sex risks reinfection. One will get a viral virus that does not correspond to the drugs. "

However, he quickly suggested that no one would have the responsibility to protect another person from HIV infection.

"We want to run away from the mentality that if someone is infected, they are responsible for the health of other people. At the moment we show this, we make people who think they are negative think they should be protected from those who are positive. what we want is everyone to protect themselves, "he said.

Unsafe sexual behavior is not just a concern for activists, as health experts have also seen an increase in the number of teens who infect sexually transmitted infections.

Experts say that those who are born negative also understand the disease.

Clinical director of the Central Hospital in Mpillo, Dr Solveo Ngeena, said that with concern he noted an increase in new infections among teens who were born infected with HIV.

He said that juveniles are negligent when trying to quit their sexual urge, exposing themselves to HIV.

"I've seen incidents of people who are infected, young people and teenagers, I do not know why they are losing it, they are not people who are born with HIV." These are people who are negligent and infected, and therefore we are losing the fight against HIV and AIDS, people are still negligent 30 years after the line, "said Dr. Ngwenya.

He said that it was fatal thinking for individuals to assume that all virgin virgins were HIV negative, leaving them to sex with them.

Dr Ngwenya said that everyone should take responsibility for their sexual behavior and practice safe sex. However, despite education for safe sex, cases of teenagers who prefer unprotected sexual activities are still very prevalent.

In 2017, statistics from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education found that more than 4,500 girls left school due to pregnancy and early marriages.

The chairman of the parliamentary committee on health and child care, Dr Ruth Lavode, recently provoked controversy after her committee recommended that children of 12 years of age enjoy free access to family planning services as a way to prevent early marriages and teenage pregnancy.

Dr Labode said the nation should accept that juveniles are giving up sexual activity and solving some of her problems.

The National Anti-Aids Council (NAC) is on record saying cross-breeding generational relationships also spread HIV and AIDS.

Older people are accused of infecting young people with HIV because they would have many sexual partners in their lives compared to young people.

Sociologist Sethule Senda said that the aspect of HIV-positive teenagers who prefer sexual activity represents new challenges for crossing generational relationships.

"There is a general social consensus that older men want to have sex with young lovers, and these people are accused of transmitting HIV and AIDS to young people. But with some of these children who are born positively to be sexually active, they are likely to we see the transmission of HIV from the bottom up, "Sanda said.

"An older person may have a relationship with a young person, behaving indiscriminately and disregarding unprotected sex with these young people, because of the firm belief that they can not be positive."

He said this would result in older people receiving HIV from their young partners and bringing it to their older sexual partners, especially those who are already married.

Mr Senda stressed that while the country has made significant progress in combating the HIV and AIDS virus, remaining faithful to one sexual partner and the proper and permanent use of protection should remain at the apex to prevent new infections, since the type 2030 is still feasible .

– @nqotshili

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