At least 28 per cent of South African schoolgirls are HIV postive compared to just 4 per cent of boys, it has been revealed.
The country's health minister Aaron Motsoaledi claimed the statistic 'destroyed his soul' and said action needed to be taken against the 'sugar daddies' targetting young girls.
Statistics show 94,000 schoolgirls fell pregnant across the country in 2011 with 77,000 having abortions at public facilities. According to Mr Motsoaledi many of the pregnant girls - who were aged betwen 10 and 14 - tested positive for HIV.
Speaking at the National Council of Provinces Carolina, Mpumalanga, yesterday said: 'It is clear that it is not young boys who are sleeping with these girls.
'It is old men. We must take a stand against sugar daddies because they are destroying our children'
Out of the country's 52 districts, Mr Motsoaledi said the Gert Sibande district in Mpumalanga had the highest number of HIV-positive people and he said all the men living there should be circumcised to stop the spread of the disease.
He added: 'There is also a high number of TB infections ... there is a lot of death and a lot of illness here.
'It is for this reason that we chose the district to be one of the 11 in the country where the National Health Insurance programme will be piloted.'
Roughly 10.9 per cent of all South Africans have HIV or Aids according to South African's Human Sciences Research Council. Although the prevelance is higher in women.
An earlier study found that in KwaZulu-Natal province 37 per cent of pregnant women were found to be carrying the virus.
Last year an investigation in South Africa's rural Eastern Cape revealed how girls as young as 12 were being forced to 'marry' older HIV-positive men because of the myth that having sex with a virgin will cure them of the disease.