Aids Focus

Primary schoolchildren need sex ed - minister

2011-11-30 19:03

Special Report

Cape Town - Parliament's health portfolio committee has welcomed Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's intention to introduce sex education at primary school level.

There appeared to be an increase in teenage pregnancies, committee chairperson Began Goqwana said in a statement.

To remedy this situation, society needed to "relook at their morals and question why young children were engaging in sexual activities".

"The increase in teenage pregnancies shows that these young children are not only engaging in sexual activities, but are doing it without protection and having sexual education [in] primary schools might save the situation," he said.

The committee also urged all South Africans to ensure that they knew their HIV status as the country geared up to mark World Aids Day on Thursday.

The health department recently released the national HIV prevalence survey results from 2010.

These showed an increase in prevalence among older women, most noticeably in the 45 to 49 year age group.

If the country wanted to reach the millennium development goal of halving the HIV infection rate by 2014, more needed to be done, Goqwana said.

It was important for citizens to know their HIV status so that they could get the necessary help should they be infected.

Even though strides had been made to fight stigmatisation, it was still a reality for HIV-infected people.

"As long as we still stigmatise HIV, people will run away from being tested and we as legislators need to be the leaders and pioneers in de-stigmatising HIV," he said.

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