As South Africa joins other countries in observing World AIDS Day, civil society groups have urged government to do more to educate girl children about issues related to sexual assault.

They say young girls are being infected with HIV and it appears the messages targeted at them are not achieving the intended results.

Estimates show that there are about 5000 new HIV infections in the country each week.

Fiona Nicholson is from the Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme based in Limpopo: “A lot of girls do not know the definitions of rape. If they have a drink with their boyfriends and they end up being forced to have sex they don’t see that as rape.

If you educate them that they do know the definitions of rape and they know about post rape services, number 1 they report, number 2 when they report they get PEP which stops them from getting HIV and number 3 they get EC, emergency contraceptive so they don’t get pregnant.”