Cape Town Adolescent Health Survey
HIV/AIDS is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in South Africa, where an estimated one in five adults are HIV positive. Young people bear a particularly high disease burden: 34% of new cases of HIV occur among those 15-24 years of age. Moreover, it is estimated that if the current HIV infection rates remain stable in South Africa, 50% of 15-year-olds alive today will die from AIDS. The impact that HIV is having on South African adolescents cannot be overstated. Several researchers have recently noted that adolescent-focused interventions in South Africa are not having an impact as effective as desired. Certainly, interventions that are low-cost, scalable, and modifiable to reflect changing behavioral trends, such as the Internet and text messaging, should be considered as additional tools to add to the arsenal of available HIV prevention programs.
We conducted a survey in three secondary schools in Cape Town with over 1000 adolescents 16-18 years of age to better understand how young people are using technology and to identify opportunities to leverage this use to bring important prevention information to where young people ‘are’.
The project was being conducted in partnership with colleagues at the University of Western Cape.