Wall Street Journal Examines HIV Prevention Program Targeting Girls Who Rely on "Sugar Daddies" for Economic Security
February 25, 2004
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday profiled Shaping the Health of Adolescents in Zimbabwe, an HIV/AIDS prevention program that offers young girls a "financial prophylactic" to help them avoid sexual relationships with "sugar daddies." Many orphans and poor young women in Africa maintain sexual relationships with older men who help pay their living expenses and school fees or support their families. These sexual relationships have been a major factor in the spread of HIV in Southern Africa, where HIV prevalence rates are as much as six times as high in girls ages 16 to 19 as in boys of the same age group, the Journal reports. SHAZ last month began recruiting 200 volunteers for a pilot program that will provide girls with life-skills training, vocational classes, mentors and microcredit loans to start small businesses. In the pilot program, which is a prelude to a larger study of 1,000 girls, half of the girls will receive the entire training package, while the other half will receive only the life-skills training. Researchers at the end of the study will determine whether the girls receiving the full training had lower HIV, herpes and pregnancy rates; delayed the onset of sexual activity; fewer sex partners; and repayed the loan and maintain their small businesses.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.