New York Times Examines ‘Surge’ in Child Rape Cases in South Africa, Link to HIV Myths
The New York Times today profiles the "surge" in reported cases of child and infant rape in South Africa and how the rapes could be connected to HIV/AIDS myths. South Africa has recently experienced several "widely publicized" cases of child rape, including one that involved a nine-month-old baby. Approximately 40% of all reported rape cases in South Africa in 2000 involved victims under the age of 18, and about 20% of all rape and attempted rape cases in the first six months of 2001 involved victims under 11. The Times reports that the rising number of child rapes could be linked to the "popular" AIDS myth that having sex with a virgin can cure HIV. Thoko Majokweni, South Africa's special director for the prosecution of sexual offenses, said that psychologists and researchers will begin to study the circumstances of child rapes that occurred in 2000 and 2001 to cull any information pointing to underlying causes of the sexual assaults (Swarns, New York Times, 1/29). The full article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.