MPhil study projects

Exploring factors affecting adolescent girls’ and young women’s vulnerability to HIV infection in Berea, Lesotho

Student: Maleshoane Mahapang

Country: Lesotho

This study investigated factors influencing vulnerability to HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). It recruited adolescents aged 15-18 and young women aged 19-24 from the Berea Hospital’s adolescent health corner. The research addressed the concerning rise in HIV infections among AGYWs aged 15-24 compared to other demographics.

Data analysis revealed several key themes. Many participants exhibited gaps in HIV knowledge, while cultural influences often hindered young women from making informed decisions regarding prevention methods like condom use, thereby heightening their susceptibility to HIV. Inadequate infrastructure limited access to healthcare facilities where crucial HIV information was disseminated, exacerbating the vulnerability of AGYW to infection.

Addressing these multifaceted challenges was imperative in mitigating the HIV epidemic among adolescents. The recommendations included implementing effective youth clubs as a preventative measure to stem the rise in infections and reduce HIV transmission among adolescents.