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Global Health
March 19, 2019

Higher HIV Rates in Adolescent Girls Related to Drought in Lesotho

JAMA. 2019;321(11):1041. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.1377

A recent study linked severe drought in the African country of Lesotho from 2014 to 2016 with an increased risk of HIV infection among adolescent girls.

Earlier studies have shown that in times of drought, particularly in agricultural communities that depend on rainfall for their livelihood, people change their behaviors as they struggle to survive. Girls in particular can be pulled from school to help their families forage for water and food. They also may be exposed earlier to sex, and high-risk sexual behaviors are more likely to occur.

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