27 Jul 2011

More teens turn to prostitution as cost of living increases in Solomons

11:48 am on 27 July 2011

Government ministries and NGO's involved in promoting safe sex in the Solomon Islands believe teenage prostitution is on the rise as a result of poor economic conditions in the country.

The nation has been ranked as one of the countries with the worst rates in the region for sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.

The Ministry of Health's STI and HIV Programme Coordinator Isaac Molelua says teenage girls sometimes resort to sex for cash because their prospects are bleak and there is little other opportunity to earn money.

"We have done a lot of awareness out there in the communities but for people to change their behaviour is another thing so I think it must be related to cost of living. People find it very hard to cope with the current situation now, life is expensive. Some people earn their way through that industry."

Isaac Molelua says it's often men in high positions who take advantage of teenagers desperate for cash.