Youths in Malawi have been advised to be conversant with issues to do with sexual and reproductive health in a bid to reduce HIV and AIDS among the youths .
However, authorities worry that most parents do not teach their children on matters of that sort.
Zomba district hospital officials have noted that the set up in Malawi does not see parents talking to their children on matters to do with sexual and reproductive health.
This has been noted by the Hospitals Youths Officer Kate Mwandira.
Mwandira said that many parents in the district do not discuss with their children those issues because of some cultural beliefs.
She says the trend is fast becoming an obstacle towards the whole essence of the use of various contraceptive methods.
” We have therefore suggested that we should work with parents to break these beliefs” she explained .
Mwandira has since cited the need to put to a halt such kind of beliefs as a way of preventing youths from contracting HIV and AIDS at a tender age.
In a related development the National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi (NAPHAM) has called on youths in the country to use health friendly services to reduce HIV and Aids in the country .
The organisation says HIV and AIDS is highly registered among young people hence the need to control it .
According to Avert.org, young people account for 50% of new HIV infections in Malawi, with HIV prevalence higher among some young populations, such as 15-17 year olds.
4.5% of young females aged and 2.7% of young men aged 15-24 years old are living with HIV in Malawi. Early sexual activity is high in Malawi, especially among young men, with one in five sexually active before age 15. With young people engaging in sex at an early age, addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of this population is critical.
Socio-cultural factors such as initiation ceremonies and rituals have been found to lead to unprotected sex, increasing young people’s vulnerability to HIV, especially among girls.
One study found that the transition period from childhood to adulthood in Malawi within many communities is defined by initiation ceremonies and rituals that can often encourage unprotected sex.