Low Condom Use, Multiple Sex Partners, Low Levels of Male Circumcision, Main Factors Fueling Spread of HIV in Southern Africa, Report Says
August 16, 2006
Low condom use, multiple concurrent sex partners and low levels of male circumcision are fueling the spread of HIV in southern Africa, according to a report released Monday by the Southern African Development Community, Reuters Health reports. The report also identifies men's sexual attitudes and behaviors, intergenerational sex, and gender and sexual violence as factors in the spread of the epidemic (Quinn, Reuters Health, 8/14). Stigma and social factors, such as population mobility and wealth disparities, also are exacerbating the spread of the virus, according to the report, which was released at a three-day meeting of 38 experts on HIV prevention in high-prevalence countries in southern Africa (Xinhua/People's Daily, 8/15). According to the experts, behaviors commonly deemed risky, such as casual sex or sex with commercial sex workers, no longer are the main elements fueling the spread of HIV in the region (Reuters Health, 8/14). The report finds that people engaging in risky behaviors might be better at protecting themselves from transmission of the virus than people who are in longer-term relationships. The report also finds that "voluntary counseling and testing has not been shown to date to have as strong an impact on behavior change as previously hoped." It adds, "Counseling and testing is still very important, however, as an entry point for care and treatment."
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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.