South Africa: Sugar Daddies Cause AIDS

South Africa Sugar Daddies

Over 25% of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive compared to only 4% of boys.  Who’s to blame? Sugar daddies.

The South African government says sugar daddies are to blame for the rising number of HIV positive schoolgirls. The country’s health minister Aaron Motsoaledi claimed the statistic ‘destroyed his soul’ and said action needed to be taken against the sugar daddies sleeping with young girls.

“It is clear that it is not young boys who are sleeping with these girls. It is old men. We must take a stand against sugar daddies because they are destroying our children,” Motsoaledi said. 

While this number is super high, let’s all keep in mind that more than five million people in South Africa are HIV-positive – about 10% of the total population. The sugar daddies are only causing a portion of that.

But HIV isn’t the only problem these sugar daddies are causing. 94,000 schoolgirls also fell pregnant in 2011, and 77,000 had abortions at state facilities. According to Motsoaledi, some of the girls who got pregnant – and tested positive for HIV – were reportedly between the ages of 10 and 14.

Apparently the sugar daddy phenomenon has been around for a while in South Africa but has gotten increasingly worse as the culture of consumerism grows. While canoodling with older wealthy men may get young girls drinks and gifts, most don’t have the power in the relationship to be able to negotiate safe sex, putting them at a high risk for HIV.

To combat this, the KwaZulu-Natal department of health launched a campaign last year against sugar daddies with a call to action to “protect your loved ones from ‘sugar daddies’”. More than 800 billboards have gone up across the province warning of the dangers of cross-generational sex.

Another idea? Mandatory disclaimer on sugar daddy websites: May Cause AIDS.

Via: BBC News

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