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28% of schoolgirls in S Africa are HIV positive

(13 Posts)
Grinkly Thu 14-Mar-13 20:13:33

Only 4% of boys of the same age.

This is due to girls being exploited by older men.

Isn't this horrific!

Exploited seems a strange word to use.

Scaredycat3000 Thu 14-Mar-13 20:35:15

It's in the Independent It's just awful to read, they are calling the older men Sugar Daddies, some of these children are 10 years old, that's not the name I'd use sad The story avoids an equally alarming story.

efeslight Thu 14-Mar-13 21:09:31

Heard this earlier and was completely shocked, the amount of schoolgirls having abortions reported seems huge also

ReallyTired Fri 15-Mar-13 20:39:21

I am shocked by the sheer scale of child abuse in south africa. It is tragic to think of all those girls who are HIV positive.

Itsjustafleshwound Fri 15-Mar-13 20:40:24

Just look at the president. It tells you all you need to know ....

exexpat Fri 15-Mar-13 21:16:26

I am sure there is something dodgy about this statistic, or at least something missing in the reporting of it.

Surely it must be 28% of a subset of school girls - pregnant schoolgirls, sexually active school girls, even final year school girls? Not 28% of all school girls, from primary age to secondary - because assuming that fewer if the younger ones are sexually active, and therefore would have infection rates similar to the boys at 4% that would mean far more than 28% of the older ones must be HIV positive to account for the average - more like 50% of the oldest ones. And I don't believe it can be that bad. HIV rates in the adult population are roughly 10%.

Have they actually tested a random/representative sample over all schools/areas/ages, or is it a biased, self-selected sample, eg schoolgirls who had abortions?

Obviously it's shocking that any children are infected, and that so many girls are having sex with older men, but I think there is some bad reporting/dubious and alarmist use of statistics here. Unfortunately I have googled and all the news reports quote the same couple of things rather than any more detailed information about how that bald figure of 28% was arrived at.

[sorry for the rant, but I have had to deal with a lot of stats and surveys in my time, and bad stats and misleading reporting really annoy me]

muminlondon Fri 15-Mar-13 23:26:25

Irrespective of the statistics, I also found the term 'sugar daddies' a much stranger word than 'exploited' (or abused).

Trekkie Sat 16-Mar-13 22:51:28

Yes it is horrific.

The advert on the billboard was quite powerful though - I agree that the "sugar daddies" thing is strange but it's a different country / language and at least those ads and the press stuff said quite clearly who was responsible for all of this - better than the habit of phrasing things to cut out the perpetrator that happens so often in the UK.

Grinkly Mon 18-Mar-13 01:38:44

I think the stats are right but it is in the Natal Midlands, Kwazulu Natal region, according to the Telegraph

DolomitesDonkey Mon 18-Mar-13 05:35:19

Exexpat, how can you envisage it be not true? Isn't it more of a case that you wish in all your heart it wasn't?

How about Bangkok prostitutes being 50% HIV and 100% HIV by the time they "quit"? Unbelievable or revolting reality of exponential curve?

Absy Wed 20-Mar-13 16:11:09

I think it could be true. More than a third of girls in South Africa suffer some form of sexual violence by the age of 18 and SA has the highest rate of infant/child rape in the world here. There is a HUGE problem with rape/sexual assault (rape in particular, because it is believed that sex with a virgin cures AIDS) and in general, using condoms etc. is seen as "unmanly" or an attempt by the state to control people's private sex lives.

I remember watching a documentary about it in the early naughties, and when AIDS education first started in SA (largely delivered by whites) most non-whites ignored it, because they thought it was another veiled attempt by the government to prevent black population growth (the National; Party Government had had a number of such real initiatives over the years, including plans to sterilise black boys when giving them innoculations against TB etc.).

When I came from SA to the UK, I was quite shocked to see how different sex education was - at school in SA we had many MANY lessons on AIDS, prevention of HIV etc (at a naice middle class predominantly white school) whereas in the UK it was barely mentioned - this is because it is such a huge risk.

mummytime Wed 20-Mar-13 16:45:19

Okay if that number is true for the whole population of school girls. As there are about 12 million school children in South Africa, if we assume 50% are girls that is about 6 million. If we take the rate of infection with HIV in boys as the background rate, so 4% of girls will also be infected by blood products, birth etc (although I would assume some of the boys will also be infected sexually). That leaves 24% of the girls infected sexually, by men.
That is about 1.5 million. That means 100% of the final 3 years of school girls, or if it is from the last 6 years at school then that is 50%. Both of which are even more horrific figures than that reported. If it is spread over the whole population of school girls then that means that it must be pretty much normalised for girls as young as 5 to be being raped.

Of course the other issue is just how are they estimating this figure, who are they testing, what age are they testing. Is it a scientific study? Or are they routinely testing girls of a certain age (like we immunise girls against HPV)?

justabit Thu 21-Mar-13 06:40:56

Sadly the sugar daddy factor isn't related just to South Africa. In many countries if girls want to continue in school/pay fees/buy uniforms/school books this is how it is done. Their families know and don't know on different levels and accept and don't accept on different levels as, in reality, this is the only chance of a different future. If there is a boy and a girl in a family and only money to pay for one to continue in school then it will be the boy.
Of course there are other factors also such as the desire for mobile phones and other status items that the sugar daddies supply but for many it is simply about having to make this choice for the sake of a better future. Some of them will know about the health risk they are taking and some (many) will not know.

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