High poverty levels among the youths have been cited as one of the major contributing factors to spread of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancies.
This came to light during a dissemination meeting for the national standards and guidelines for health friendly services in Chipata.
It was observed that most elderly men and women, often take advantage of the poverty levels to abuse youths, by offering them money and other materials.
The participants attributed the high poverty levels among the youths to lack of job opportunities.
During the discussions, it also came out that mobile markets, popularly known as Kabwandile, have also been contributing to sexual challenges that youths are facing.
It was revealed that in some cases, people take advantage of the Kabwandile to engage in sexual relationships.