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International News

Despite HIV/AIDS Danger, Casual Sex Remains the Name of the Game for Namibian Men

April 2, 2003

A private social research firm's report reveals that close to half of Namibian men have more than one casual sex partner -- even though 94 percent of them know that HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sex. Last year, the Social Impact Assessment and Policy Analysis Corp. (SIAPAC) interviewed 1,500 people in Namibia. "Awareness of HIV/AIDS is high, but many males have multiple casual partners. This suggests that much remains to be done in terms of behavioral change, but that it can in many cases be built on sound desires to do the right thing," the report said.

In an overview of the findings, SIAPAC representative Dr. David Cownie stated that almost all of the respondents had at least one regular sex partner, while 41.7 percent of the men had more than one casual partner.

"While most used a condom with their partners in the month before the survey, condoms were inconsistently used. For regular partners, condoms were used only half the time, and for casual partners, condoms were used only three-quarters of the time," the report said.

The report goes on to add that abstinence, though valued in society, is rarely practiced. Over 80 percent of the survey respondents have had sex, and this number climbs to almost 100 percent for those ages 25-35. While just over 25 percent of 16-year-olds are sexually active, the number rises to 50 percent for 17-year-olds.

Of those surveyed, only one in 10 thought themselves to be at "high" risk of HIV infection, and an additional 20 percent viewed their risk as "moderate." Most of the 1,500 people interviewed concurred that introducing condoms during sexual negotiations could be done "without killing the mood."

Back to other CDC news for April 2, 2003

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Adapted from:
03.27.03; Namibian (Windhoek)

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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