A high number of teenagers born with HIV are defaulting on treatment, according to the National Association of People Living with HIV/Aids operating in Kuruman in the Northern Cape.
Over 400 HIV positive teenagers around Kuruman are on treatment, but few turn up to collect their medication.
Grim and depressing statistics have been revealed at the 2017 International Candle lighting Memorial, including the fact that the stigma is still rife in rural areas leading to some opting to stop treatment.
One 17-year-old says the stigma and ignorance makes taking treatment impossible for her.
“Sometimes teachers are refusing to give me permission to go fetch my treatment. They say that I ask too much permission and am always missing school.”
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) says the Health Department needs to create youth friendly health facilities for HIV positive teenagers.