In South Africa, “blessers” haunt young women, seeking to give them with presents or money in exchange for sex. The positive-sounding name masks the significant risk they also present for the teenagers—in a country with high rates of HIV, reports Amy Maxmen for Tonic.
In southern and eastern Africa, more than 5,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected every week. Preventing HIV infections in this vulnerable groups is a major challenge despite the availability of condoms and PrEP drugs that block infection.
“What really needs to change are social norms and economic imbalance,” writes Maxmen.