Why are girls getting infected at a faster rate than boys of the same age?
Many girls get infected because older men prefer to have sex with teenage girls and because the walls of the vagina of a teenage girl are much more prone to tearing and infection than in an older woman. So it’s a combination of biological vulnerability and social vulnerability. Lots of young women become infected because they are in vulnerable roles, for instance working as house girls for richer relatives who may abuse them, or needing to get good marks at school, so having to have sex with their male teachers to do so. Some girls even have to have sex with older boys to get help with their school work or to get basic stationery or clothing. Many girls – and married women – lack the necessary assertiveness skills to enable them to negotiate safer sex if they choose to have sex with a partner.