Zulu King Urges Young Women to Remain Abstinent to Avoid HIV Infection
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has counseled the young women in his tribe to remain abstinent until marriage in order to protect themselves from HIV infection, Reuters/Yahoo! News reports. Zwelithini over the weekend discussed abstinence and HIV/AIDS with approximately 2,000 Zulu girls who were gathered outside his palace for the Royal Reed Dance, a ceremony in which kings used to select new brides but which today only represents a chance for the king to meet with the young women of the tribe. "Today we are facing a war against AIDS. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my appeal to young people, male and female, to abstain from sex until they get married or until they decide to raise their families," Zwelithini said. There are approximately six million people in Zwelithini's Zulu tribe, and the largely Zulu state of KwaZulu-Natal has the highest HIV infection rate in South Africa. More than one-third of the population of KwaZulu-Natal is believed to be HIV-positive (Reynolds, Reuters/Yahoo! News, 9/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.