Citizens for Justice and Peace

Many young women in Africa unaware they have HIV

14, Feb 2018 | CJP Team

A large-scale study across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa has found that less than half of young women who have HIV know that they have been infected, according to the Guardian. The incidence of HIV among women aged 15-24 in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, Malawi, and Lesotho is about 3.6%, around 1.5 million young and adolescent women who have an infection rate that is nearly twice that of young and adolescent men. The study, published by the United States’ Center for Diseases Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, found that just 46.3% of those with HIV knew that were infected, and that only 45% of those infected were being treated and virally suppressed, which is much lower than UN AIDS agency’s target. Researchers interviewed more than 28,000 young women, and also gathered plasma samples. The Guardian noted that the numbers were “particularly worrying” because young women in eastern and southern Africa are at risk of contracting HIV around five to seven years ahead of their male counterparts.



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