Botswana's first lady vows to fight HIV/AIDS amongst adolescents

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-09 15:49:20|Editor: ZX
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GABORONE, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Botswana's First Lady Neo Masisi on Thursday vowed to work tirelessly to ensure that the country attains the 2030 target of ending HIV, the virus that causes the pandemic AIDS.

Masisi announced her commitment to intensify advocacy efforts to address the deadly disease when speaking to Mater Spei College students in Francistown, Botswana's second largest city.

"A survey conducted last year showed that HIV prevalence is high amongst boys and girls in high schools due to intergenerational sex. It is estimated that prevalence amongst children aged between 15 and 19 years stands at 37.2 percent," said Masisi.

According to Masisi, the deadly disease is robbing Botswana of its future human resources.

"It is against this background that I am going to work tirelessly to fight HIV so that Botswana attains zero new infections by 2030," she said.

In partnership with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Masisi launched a campaign dubbed Seng mo Ngwaneng (Not with a child) last year, aiming to discourage intergenerational sexual activities between younger and older generations.

Through this campaign, Masisi has taken an initiative to visit at least 120 high schools across the southern African country to educate children especially girls on how to protect themselves against contracting HIV/AIDS.

Botswana's National AIDS Coordinating Agency estimates that the cost of the African country's HIV response will rise to 339 million U.S. dollars by 2030.