In a bid to to decrease the rate of HIV and Aids infection amongst girls and young women, the South African government has launched an ambitious National HIV Prevention Campaign for Young Women and Girls.
The event which held in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal formed part of the build-up to the 21st International Aids Conference, scheduled for Durban in July.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa argued that with the provision of government condoms which provide satisfaction and safety in one package, there is no reason for men to indulge in unsafe sex.
He called on men to grab the new Maximum condom – which comes in regular, grape, banana and strawberry flavours because they “smell nice”.
The newly acquired condoms provide four maximums, which are: maximum pleasure, maximum protection, maximum quality and maximum number of young people making use of them.
Deputy President Ramaphosa also said that “young women and girls are the heart and future of South Africa. We must together safeguard and support them as they make make their transition to adulthood… protecting them from dangers, including HIV transmission.”
Pleading with blessers in the country, Ramaphosa urged them to have fun with their peers rather than bouncing on helpless young girls.
“I want to say to all the blessers, leave our girls alone. If you want love, go to women of your own age – they have more than enough love to give you,” he said.
Prominent South Africans who graced the occasion include: Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
Statistics have shown that in South Africa, almost 2000 new HIV infections occur among young women and adolescent girls (aged 15–24) weekly, a rate two and a half times that among males of the same age.
South Africa will host the International Aids Conference next month. The last time the International conference held in the country was in 2000.