Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
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
© Copyright 2013 - Malawi Medical Journal
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
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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