Chicago Tribune Examines Advocates’ Efforts To Change Sexual Behavior, Attitudes of South African Men To Curb Spread of HIV
The Chicago Tribune on Friday examined efforts by South African advocates to curb the AIDS epidemic by changing men's sexual behavior and their attitudes toward women. "Notions of men are still very bound up in conquest and multiple sexual partners," Dean Peacock, program manager for South Africa's branch of the international public health organization EngenderHealth, said. According to advocate Dumisani Rebombo, "socialization, culture, [and] television all say [men are] superior" and are "taught to disregard women." Peacock said some men will not admit that they are faithful or do not physically abuse their wives in order to retain a masculine image. However, it is difficult to persuade men to remain faithful to one partner in a country where polygamy is practiced and many men work as migrants away from their partners in places where sex workers are easily accessible, according to the Tribune. EngenderHealth operates a program called Men as Partners that runs frequent workshops designed to change men's attitudes toward women. The program is proving effective in Johannesburg, where women frequently visit the organization's offices and "marvel at the changes in their husbands and boyfriends," the Tribune reports (Goering, Chicago Tribune, 12/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.