July 1, 2016
Written by Zanele Mabaso, Girls' Globe
This post originally appeared on the Girls’ Globe website. Reposted with permission.
Welcome to the #EndHIV4Her blog series on integrated development. This series will feature blogs from a variety of perspectives from the global health community on why an integrative approach to development is essential to alleviate and potentially end the HIV epidemic for girls and women. Share your thoughts with us by using #EndHIV4Her on social media and read all three blogs here.
South Africa, in particular, has one of the fastest growing rates of HIV infections in the world with an estimated 6.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in 2015, an increase from 5.4 million in 2014. A high proportion of young people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa are young women and adolescents aged 15-24, where 2000 new infections are reported from this vulnerable and at-risk population group every week. HIV/AIDS also continues to be the highest leading cause of death amongst women and adolescents around the world. Failure to address the needs of women and girls living with and without HIV/AIDS in a holistic, comprehensive, coordinated and monitored manner, the global, regional and national health community will continue to be challenged in successfully accomplishing the overall mandate of reducing new HIV infections, HIV-related stigma and discrimination by 2030. Therefore, integrative development approaches to combating HIV/AIDS amongst women and girls is a key plausible solution to responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic to fast-track and accelerate efforts to ending HIV/AIDS by 2030. Below are eight approaches to help ensure success in reaching the most women and girls possible.
“An AIDS-free generation is not something we can create, an AIDS-free generation is something we must empower young people to become and remain” – Charlize Theron (UN General Assembly High level Meeting on Ending AIDS, 2016)
Zanele is an ardent policy adviser, advocate for women & girls and a social justice writer with published articles on Girls Globe, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, SkyNews24 and other online global advocacy platforms with a focus on HIV Prevention, Adolescents Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender Equality and Gender-based Violence. Youth Advisory to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) South Africa, Ms Mabaso was an elected Youth Representative (South Africa) of the UNFPA SYP Program’s Regional Steering Committee, the National ASRHR Framework Strategy Technical Committee, Technical Task Team to National Youth Alliance and The Partnership on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health’s SO4 Community of Practice Steering Committee. Passionate about the development and empowerment of adolescents & young people across Southern Africa in the sector of HIV Prevention; Zanele has served on the Youth & Adolescents Advisory Board of the Prenatal HIV Research Unit and Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, respectively. She’s participated in a number of national, regional and global consultations and high-level engagements including Government of SA/UNFPA Country Programme’s National Coordination Forum, The Africa Regional Stakeholders Consultations on the United Nations Secretary General’s 2016-2030 Global Strategy on Women, Children and Adolescents, The Partnership on RMNCH&A Pre-Youth Consultations, Strategic Framework Developments & Conferences, United Nations Commission on Population and Development 48th Session at the UN Headquarters, in mention of a few. She’s a youth leader notably recognised by M&G Top 200 Young People, Top 100 Brightest Young Minds and Top 35 Under 35 CEO’s Foundation. – @zanelemabaso23