How peer pressure contribute to the spread of HIV among the youth


We have several factors that contribute to the spread of HIV to the youth of Malawi. Here in Malawi we have a lot of cultural practices, some of them put young people at risk to contracting HIV; such cultural practice like, kutchotsa fumbi, gwamula and hiring a fisi.

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Other factors can be that of cultural difference, economic difference, peer pressure and multiple relationships etc.



At a certain age a young person has to go to be initiated, mostly at this time girls are at puberty stage which can be as young as 12 years, they are taken aside and taught about adulthood, the roles, responsibilities and expectation of women in the society, as well as often having sex component, whereby girls are taught how to please men and are encouraged to have sex with any man, most of the time this men are older than them and they are likely to have HIV infection. This practice encourages girls to have multiple sexual partners most especially those who have been initiated, the changes of been infected are high. They believe that when a girl has done this she will be a better wife. This practice can contribute to the spread of HIV infection among the youth of Malawi.


Another cultural practices that happen in Malawi which contribute to the spread of HIV among the young people is gwamula which is practiced in some part of Malawi. Boys and Men sneak into the girl’s room at night and have sex with whoever they will find. This practice contributes to the spread of HIV among the youth most especially the girls because they do have sex with the person whom they don’t know and see. It can happen that the person has HIV and infect it to that girl. This practice also contributes to the spread of HIV among the youth of Malawi.


Young people are engaged in commercial sex because of poverty in order for them to find their basic needs. Most of the time they practice unprotected sex because they want to earn more money, in so doing they are infected.


A lot of young people most of the time get caught up in romantic feelings thinking that having sex is the best way they can prove or demonstrate to love their partner. Sometimes they have sex because their friends think so, then they suffer the consequences been infected with HIV.


Most of the youth who have multiple partners


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