Navigation Links
South African policy on adolescents' rights to access condoms is causing confusion
Date:1/20/2009

In 2007, South Africa's new Children's Act came into effect, granting children 12 years and older a host of rights relating to reproductive health, including the right to access condoms. But current policies allow individual schools to decide whether or not to give out condomspolicies that two researchers, writing in this week's PLoS Medicine, say could damage the health of the country's youth.

Juliana Han (Harvard Law School, Cambridge, USA) and Michael Bennish (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA), both affiliated with the South African nongovernmental health organization Mpilonhle (www.mpilonhle.org), say that the rights afforded by the act reflect growing concern over the need to prevent HIV in the country's youth. South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV in the world. Those aged 15󈞄 years account for 34% of all new HIV infections and have an HIV prevalence of 10.3%.

"Despite the high incidence of HIV in adolescents," say Han and Bennish, "and the efficacy of condoms in preventing HIV transmission, condom use rates among adolescents remain low, due at least in part to limited access." One way to increase condom access for this group would be to make condoms available in schools.

The Children's Act, together with South African government policies, allows individual schools to decide whether to distribute condoms. Most school staff, say the authors, are unaware of South African policy and regulations governing condom provision in schools. "Because of confusing and contradictory government policies and public pronouncements regarding provision of condoms in public schools, few schools have undertaken to provide condoms, leaving students, especially in rural areas, with few options for obtaining them."

The authors acknowledge that making condoms available in schools is a socially divisive issue. Critics believe that making contraception available encourages sexual activity. But proponents cite the early age of sexual debut and the futility of HIV prevention education that encourages condom use but fails to actually provide condoms.

The researchers' own work with Mpilonhle, in which they interviewed teachers, parents, and students in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal, the province with the highest HIV prevalence, suggests there is generally support for the distribution of condoms in schools but confusion about governmental policy.

Condom access for adolescents in South Africa is also restricted by some of the funding agencies that support HIV prevention efforts. The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR), for example, which allocated US$398 million to South African HIV/AIDS programs in 2007, prohibits use of these funds for distributing condoms in schools or for providing condom information to youth aged 14 years and under. PEPFAR's policy conflicts with South African law.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Hyde
press@plos.org
44-122-346-3330
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. South Jersey Healthcare Offers Sage Intergy EHR Electronic Health Records System to Community Physicians Through EHR Grant Program
2. Justice Department Reaches Settlement Over Conditions at South Carolina Nursing Care Center
3. TriServ Alliance Submits Final Bid for TRICARE South Region Contract
4. Chicagos First Smoke-Free Apartment Building Thriving in South Loop
5. Worlds First Medical Identification Franchise Launches at Miamis Franchise Expo South
6. UJC and Jewish Federations of North America Commit $10 Million for Needs in Southern Israel
7. UT Southwestern University Hospitals transplant program recognized for increasing organ donor rates
8. The Doctors Company Launches Southeast Legal Summit to Provide Industry's Best Claims Defense for Physicians
9. South Carolina IABC Event to Hear from BurrellesLuce Exec on Best Ways to Reach Multi-Generation Audience
10. South Carolina Plastic Surgeon Helps New Moms Restore their Bodies with a Mommy Makeover
11. Childhood anxiety disorders can and should be treated, according to UT Southwestern national expert
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Milford, NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... weekend at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by ... and physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest ... to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, ... next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology ... in Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric ... President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: ... facility in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico ... blades. Following ... facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of power ... have been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development ... aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the ... arrests with better efficiency compared to the dated and ... feedback on efficacy of the compression for a more ... a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the ... by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC ... brand, which included the unveiling of new signage at ... as well as at a few other company-owned facilities ... brand to patients, some of whom will begin to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: