South Africa

Socialising evidence about sexual violence and HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Between 2001 and 2004, CIETafrica carried out the first national youth survey of sexual violence in the country. The results expose the cultural roots of sexual violence and reveal the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences that enable and facilitate this culture. The study also confirms the connection between sexual violence and HIV/AIDS, and finds that young boys may be as vulnerable to sexual abuse as girls (in some instances vulnerable to abuse by girls).

Connections between sexual violence and HIV /AIDS and their impact on young people’s attitudes also emerged in a new light: one third of learners interviewed believed they were HIV-positive; learners who had been raped were more likely to believe this, and more likely to say they would deliberately infect somebody else. See the executive report on the survey and a description of the extensive efforts to socialise the evidence derived from it.

In 2006 an article, based in part on the results of this survey, entitled “Prevention for those who have freedom of choice – or among the choice-disabled: confronting equity in the AIDS epidemic” was published in AIDS Research and Therapy 2006, 3:23. Another article on young male victims of sexual violence appeared in 2008 in the International Journal for Equity in Health