Factors fuelling spread of hiv aids among youth

This is where we all belong.

Factors fuelling spread of hiv aids among youth

In order to fight the spread of HIV amongst the youth it is necessary to know and effectively address the factors that drive the spread of HIV.

The primary risk factor that is exponentially perpetrating the spread of HIV in youths is the widespread multiple and concurrent sexual partnership. Especially so among young men who have good economic background and having several sexual partners is socially seen as prestigious — a sign of popularity, potency and manhood.

On the other hand, peer pressure and competition to out-do each other among the youth is driving young men into multiple sexual relationships. In some cases youths have multiple relationships in order to compare who among their multiple partners is good at sex and the use of cell phones when setting up appointments for each of their sexual partners in different places constitute some of the ways in which the youth claim to manage these multiple relationships without conflicts.

Multiple sexual partners are at risk of contracting and spreading the deadly HIV in their sexual circles mainly due to unprotected sex. Low, inconsistent or lack of condom use is also common among the youth due to strong misconceptions and negative attitudes towards condoms.

Factors fuelling spread of hiv aids among youth

On the other hand, some rural young girls believe that semen contains important ingredients like vitamin K which would make one look attractive and that condom use would prevent this benefit.

Other young girls think that condoms are not hygienic and that the oil in condoms causes cancer and as such it is better to have plain sex than to get cancer from condoms. Others think that condoms can burst and get stuck in the vagina hence they avoid using condoms and consequently expose themselves to HIV.


Harmful culture is another powerful precursor and predisposing factor to the spread of HIV amongst the youth in Malawi. These harmful traditional cultural beliefs are interlinked with many other variables in the whole equation and there are several cultural practices across the nation that one can rightly construe as counterproductive relative to the fight against the spread of HIV.

After attending initiation ceremonies a man is hired to have sexual intercourse with the newly initiated adolescent girls in order to sexually prepare them for married life.

In case of refusal the widow is expelled and left to care for her children alone and is forcefully deprived of property. If the deceased husband died of AIDS and had infected his wife or wives then the younger relation the male youth who inherits the widow will in turn become infected.

In many cases this is performed in secret, in an unclean environment and using non-sterile instruments. These young victims are literally subjected to pain and trauma and regularly experience severe physical problems such as blood loss, infection and even death.

Pre-disposed to a life of poor physical gynaecologic health and complications, these young men carry a greater risk of contracting HIV, either at the time of mutilation or at some time in their future sexual experiences — all in the name of culture and tradition.

The culture of silence also surrounds most reproductive health issues with many parents not omfortable discussing sexual issue with their children considering such sexual issues as a taboo. For example girls living in rural areas are brought up and shaped at initiation rituals to grow up preparing themselves to please male sexual desires and to view their sexual organs as meant for ultimate male sexual pleasure.

To accomplish this, soon after puberty or during initiation these girls are encouraged to pull their labia minora since they are viewed as an attractive and pleasurable sexual assets for women. As a result the adolescent girls become curious about sex and they naturally set out to explore and have unprotected sex thereby exposing themselves to HIV.


As a result of this misconception many young girls have subsequently been infected with HIV by older males. Sexual violence can also occur at work places, even among educated young women during job hiring, for favours at work, promotion and to avoid dismissal. Fear of violence leads to acceptance of unprotected sex.

These commercial sex workers end up having frequently-unprotected sex with multiple casual and concurrent partners in one night thereby putting themselves at high risk of HIV infection and transmission to their partners.

All this means higher risk of infection. The macro and microeconomic hardships at household and community levels has also forced people to migrate temporarily from rural to urban areas in search for employment or business enterprises with some crossing the boarders and trekking down to South Africa as migrant workers in mines.

Some of course move from rural villages to commercial agricultural tea, tobacco or sugar estates as seasonal labourers and from various locations to sites of infrastructural development projects e.

In most cases, the job seeking young men leave homes and engage in high risk sexual behaviours wherever they are and when off-duty these young men pass time drinking beer and seeking female companionship and sex either as long-term sexual partners; casual, short-term partners; or cash clients and perhaps driven by the belief that men cannot control their sexual urges or in their quest for sexual variety.

When they return home with attractive consumer products and disposable cash these young men are viewed as heroes by their peers and become attractive targets for youthful commercial sex workers and other women looking for financial gains.

This increases their chances of engaging in high risk sexual behaviour even back home. Recently, due to women empowerment campaign, there has also been an upsurge in the number of young female cross border traders who undertake short term travels, mostly to South Africa, Tanzania, Dubai and China to purchase merchandise.

These women engage in high risk sexual behaviour to supplement the financial capital or experience sexual exploitation by law enforcers, long-distance truck drivers who may assist with transportation of their merchandise and customs officials.

Generally, travel or mobility appears to increase the vulnerability of young people to high risk sexual behaviour by removing them from their normal social environment which normally controls their sexual behaviour to some extent.10 factors fuelling the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub saharan Africa.

Sub Saharan counties of Africa are all the countries that lies below the Sahara deserts including schwenkreis.com rate of the spread of HIV/AIDS is very high and below are well discussed factors motivating to the increase. Today’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic (55 percent) of new infections among young MSM (4,).

In fact, young black MSM now account for more new infections which can fuel the spread of HIV. L anguage barriers and concerns about immigration status. present additional prevention challenges. Jun 18,  · The most common cultural factors fueling the spread of HIV/AIDS in the developing world include polygamy and wife inheritance.

These cultural practices are specifically common in Africa (Susser I., Stein Z.). In the case of polygamy, if one partner gets infected, he or she is highly likely to spread the virus to all the other schwenkreis.coms: 27 Cultural and Socio-Economic Factors Cultural practices and the spread of HIV/AIDS Table Contribution of cultural practices to the spread of HIV/AIDS Yes/No Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 50 No 50 Total From table , 50 % of the respondents indicate that cultural practices increased the rate of HIV infection among the youths, 50% don‟t agree.

Despite more than a decade of work in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention, global estimates of HIV infections indicated that, million [ million– million] were living with HIV at the.

FACTORS THAT FUEL THE SPREAD OF HIV INFECTION AMONG THE YOUTH Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a blood-borne transmissible virus and globally this virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is causing devastation by destroying communities, families and taking away hope for the future.

Malawi has not been spared of the catastrophe brought by HIV/AIDS .

Cultural practices contributing to the transmission of HIV in Africa