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Health minister unveils anti-sugar daddy campaign

The three-year campaign, starting next month, will target the 15 to 24 age group.

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has announced a new programme aimed at keeping girls in schools, weaning them off so-called "sugar daddies", and reducing teenage pregnancy.

The R3 billion campaign will be made possible by funding from foreign donor organisations and government departments.

Motsoaledi outlined the campaign's objectives when he introduced his department's budget vote in Parliament today.

The minister says the three-year campaign, starting next month, will target the 15 to 24 age group, as well as the men who are infecting and impregnating them.

"[This is] because we found that, on the socio-behavioural front, their chances of getting HIV/Aids are eight times more than of boys of the same age group."

The health minister says the campaign aims to reduce infections in girls and young women, decrease teenage pregnancy, keep girls in school until matric and increase economic opportunities for them so that they are not drawn into relationships with older men.

Motsoaledi has also announced that the CD4 count as an eligibility criterion for Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment will be removed from September.