Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
PRI’s ‘The World’ Reports on Child Rape and HIV Virgin Myth in South Africa
PRI's "The World" on Monday examined the growing incidence of child and infant rape in South Africa, a trend that some consider to be a "disturbing result" of the myth that sex with a virgin will cure HIV-positive men of the disease. Dr. Graham Pitcher, who has treated infants who were raped, said, "I have no doubt that the nationwide increase in [the infant rape] problem is related to individuals who are acting according to this myth." Research on the sexual habits and beliefs of South African teenagers by loveLife, a national HIV prevention program aimed at youth, found that one in four teenagers believed the HIV virgin cure myth to be true or thought it might be. But Luke Lamprecht, director of the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children in Johannesburg, said that child and baby rape is a "complex phenomenon" which shouldn't "be reduced to another offshoot of the AIDS crisis." The full segment is available in RealAudio online (Kruger, "The World," PRI, 2/11).
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