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Minister counsels youths on sex

KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka
THE HIV incidence tends to increase as people progress in their education, especially among women, Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Vincent Mwale has observed.
Mr Mwale has since challenged the youth, especially young women, to get empowered and make informed decisions on sexual behaviour.
The minister said this when he addressed students from different learning institutions at the official opening of the University of Zambia (UNZA) HIV and AIDS response programme in Lusaka on Wednesday.
“According to the Zambia Demographic Health Survey of 2014, 13 percent of women with no education are [HIV] positive as compared to 17 percent of those with more than secondary school education.
“We can’t control young people’s sexual behaviour, but we can only empower them with skills that will help them negotiate for safer sex,” Mr Mwale said.
The minister also said HIV prevalence in Zambia is quite high despite a reduction from 13 to 15 percent.
Mr Mwale said the situation is worse in rural areas where young people are not allowed to talk about sex.
“Young people, especially in villagers, are not allowed to talk about sex. This is not helping in the fight against the disease. Parents must realise that time has gone to be afraid to talk about sexual issues, we can only overcome HIV if we talk about it freely,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwale said Government is undertaking various programmes and projects aimed at empowering young people to ensure that poverty, which is one of the drivers of HIV, is alleviated.
“Government, through my ministry, has developed the 2015 national youth policy and an action plan for youth empowerment and employment which are aimed at addressing youth issues in a mainstreamed manner,” he said.
Mr Mwale said his ministry is also implementing the community sport programme where basic sports facilities will be provided in communities.


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