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Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 25, No. 1, 2013, pp. 1-4
Bioline Code: mm13001
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2013, pp. 1-4

 en Street children’s vulnerability to HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Malawian cities
Mandalazi, P.; Banda, C. & Umar, E.


Street children have largely been ignored in the fight against HIV and AIDS. While some initiatives exist, the nature of street life, probably has not allowed viable interventions to be implemented. However, this is a group of people that could qualify as a “most at risk” group. This study set out to explore street children’s vulnerability to sexual exploitation in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi.
The objective for this study was to explore street children’s vulnerability to HIV and STIs infection.
This qualitative study employed In-depth interviews with street children in the two main cities of Malawi. A total of 23 street children were interviewed.
The study strongly suggests that street children could be vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. This is due to various factors which include low knowledge levels of STI and HIV, high risk sexual practices, lack of safer place to spend their nights for both boys and girls rendering them vulnerable to sexual abuses and the use of sex as a tool to secure protection and to be accepted especially for the newcomers on the street.
This study highlights street children’s vulnerability to sexual exploitation which predisposes them to risk of HIV and AIDS as well as Sexually Transmitted infections. Furthermore, the street environment offers no protection against such vulnerability. There is need to explore potential and context sensitive strategies that could be used to protect street children from sexual exploitation and HIV and AIDS infection.

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