Deputy minister of health Joe Phaahla said on Thursday that the LoveLife initiative needed more support from the private sector, as it sought to help reduce the infection rate of HIV in the youth by 30% through various initiatives.
During a fundraising breakfast at the Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg, Phaahla said that young people faced many challenges. “Adolescent girls and young girls experienced the highest rate of HIV infection. Even though a lot has been done, but only 30% have been touched with relevant services.”
He said almost 2 000 young women between the ages of 15-24 were infected per week in South Africa.
“LoveLife has been able to train young people and be innovative in making sure that they meet the needs of young people.”
Phaahla called on the private the sector to assist as the government could not do everything on its own.
During a discussion panel, Phaahla said times had changed and technology had a positive and a negative effect on the youth. “We have this magnificent opportunity through technology but we also have this destructive nature as well.”
He said technology had made it easier for young people to access adult content like pornography.
Deputy minister of sports and recreation Gert Oosthuizen said an agreement had been reached and will be signed to make school sports compulsory in all schools, in a partnership with LoveLife.
He said that the healthy kids campaign showed a high rate of osteoporosis infection from the age of 11 years old because of inactivity.
“The youth camps are hosted for a period of two weeks. Our collaboration with love life and other stakeholders are important, let’s all play a role,” Oosthuizen said.
“We are faced with a challenge of apartheid, we are rolling out multipurpose sports and play parks.”
Both deputy ministers stressed that it was up to everyone, not just the government, to fight the spread and infection of HIV/Aids and being active in the youth.
Chairman of LoveLife, Moss Mashishi, said that the nation was in crisis and that young people felt marginalised and lived lifestyles of hopelessness and no future, which was what drove the existence of LoveLife.
Lovelife reaches 1.5 million youth in South Africa.
– African News Agency (ANA)