Blessers, blessees and HIV: Do we know how to deal with age-disparate sex?

The data is stark and incontrovertible: HIV is spreading faster among teenage girls and young women than in any other group in South Africa.

Almost four out of every 10 new HIV infections in the country occur among women between the ages of 15 and 24 — an infection rate up to four times that of their male peers.

The key driver? Age-disparate sex.

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism invites you to a policy dialogue at the 9th South African Aids Conference on the effects of blessers and blessees on HIV transmission, and possible solutions to the situation.

Are we remotely on track to reduce new HIV infections among young women by 60% by 2022?

Hear from young women, sexual and reproductive rights activists and HIV experts about what can be done to protect young women.

Not familiar with the phenomenon? Our Nelisiwe Msomi’s article explains more: One she called the ‘minister of love’. The other? He was the ‘minister of finance’.

The panel will be moderated by Mia Malan, executive director and editor-in-chief of Bhekisisa.

Panellists include:

  • Salim Abdool-Karim, director, Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa)
  • Lerato Mafokeng, deputy chairperson, South African National Aids Council’s (SANAC) youth sector
  • Mandisa Dlamini, founder and director, Gugu Dlamini Foundation
  • Helen Rees, founder and executive director, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
  • Natsayi Chimbindi, epidemiologist, Africa Health Research Institute

Date: 12 June
Venue: Hilton Durban Hotel, 12-14 Walnut Road, Durban Central, KwaZulu-Natal
Time: 6pm to 8pm

RSVP by 8 May. Click here: [email protected]

For queries, contact engagement officer Roxy de Villiers on [email protected].

Attending? Click here to inform us of your dietary requirements.

Or use your smartphone to scan our QR code:

The event will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page @Bhekisisa.Health. If you prefer Twitter, we will be live tweeting @Bhekisisa_MG updates using #AgeDisparateSex.

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Bhekisisa team
Bhekisisa Team
Health features and news from across Africa by Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian's health journalism centre.

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