More Than Half of South Africans Disagree With Mbeki’s Opinion on Causal Link Between HIV and AIDS
More than 50% of South Africans disagree with South African President Thabo Mbeki's statement that HIV does not cause AIDS, Business Day reports. According to a new survey by research firm ACNielsen, more than half of the 2,479 South African households responding to the survey disagreed with Mbeki's opinion of the link between HIV and AIDS, while 6% "agreed completely with it," 4% "agreed strongly," 8% agreed "a little" and 25% said they "did not know enough to form an opinion." In addition, 50% of urban adults felt that Mbeki's denials of the causal link between HIV and AIDS "made it more difficult for health workers to persuade people to take precautions against the disease." Fifteen percent said the president's views made "no difference" in this regard, while 7% felt they would "help" health workers. Mbeki found the most support among participants in the lowest two income groups and the most opposition among respondents in the highest two income brackets. In addition, English speakers were more likely to disagree with Mbeki than Sotho and Nguni speakers. Young people were also more likely to disagree with Mbeki's views -- 56% of South Africans between the ages of 16 and 24 opposed Mbeki's stance, while only 45% of those older than 50 disagreed with him. While only 4% of survey respondents said they "did not believe news reports about the issue," individuals without access to television were more likely to agree with Mbeki than those with access to television. More than a third of South Africans without television access "expressed uncertainty" about the AIDS issue (Shapiro, Business Day, 3/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.