Young adolescent girls are at relatively greater risk of contracting HIV compared to others for several reasons: biological factors mean that it is easier for girls to contract HIV; they are more likely to have older partners exposing them to HIV older partners; they may lack access to information and services; and gender inequality, social norms and values may undermine their ability to decline sexual activity or negotiate the use of condoms.

In sub-Saharan Africa, women on average contract HIV five to seven years earlier than men. Around 75 per cent of new HIV infections among adolescents in this region are to girls, and in some countries, HIV prevalence among adolescent girls can be as much as seven times that of their male counterparts.

Pregnant women and new mothers who are HIV-positive need access to antenatal care and medicine to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

Other issues

Female genital mutilation
Very early motherhood This is the story of Mulenga
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