‘Sugar Daddies’ Contribute to Spread of HIV/AIDS in U.S., Africa Because of Lack of Condom Use, Opinion Piece Says
"Sugar daddies" -- older men who have relationships with and buy gifts for or give money to young, female partners -- "are making it difficult to stop the spread" of HIV in the United States and worldwide, columnist Mary Mitchell writes in a Chicago Sun-Times opinion piece. This "makes sense" because "[o]ld men who sleep with much younger women understand that they are paying for sex and are determined to get their money's worth," while young women do not understand "how difficult it is to negotiate condom use," according to Mitchell. In a study conducted in Kenya by Harvard University research fellow Nancy Luke, sugar daddies were found to have the "upper hand because their sex partners are needy financially," Mitchell says, adding that the study found that sugar daddies who are in relationships with women closer to their own age are more likely to use condoms. According to Mitchell, Luke argues that African women need "more control over their lives" and increased access to contraceptives, education and jobs in order to avoid these types of relationships. The "sugar daddy syndrome" also needs to be examined in the United States so that young women "know what those trinkets could cost down the road," Mitchell concludes (Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times, 4/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.