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International News

Study Says South African Boys Often Forced to Have Sex

July 29, 2008

Two of every five South African males ages 10-19 report they have been raped, a new survey has found, complicating HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the nation. The study involved 127,000 boys in 1,200 schools across the nation.

"This study uncovers endemic sexual abuse of male children that was suspected but hitherto only poorly documented," wrote study authors Neil Andersson and Ari Ho-Foster of the Center for Tropical Disease Research in Johannesburg. "There is increasing recognition of links between sexual abuse and high-risk attitudes to sexual violence and HIV risk," they noted. "Sexually abused children are also more likely to engage in HIV high-risk behavior."

Among 18-year-old respondents, 44 percent reported forced sex and half reported consensual sex. Females were the perpetrators in about 41 percent of cases; males in about one-third of cases; and both males and females in 27 percent.

Disparities were seen between poorer and wealthier provinces, with the highest abuse rate reported in Limpopo and the lowest reported in Western Cape.

The full report, "13,915 Reasons for Equity in Sexual Offenses Legislation: A National School-Based Survey in South Africa," was published in the International Journal for Equity in Health (2008;doi:10.1186/1475-9276-7-20).

Back to other news for July 2008

Adapted from:
7.28.2008; Michael Kahn

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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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