HIV/Aids

30 May 2008

Swazi men reject Aids testing

Four out of five men in Swaziland, the nation with the world's highest rate of HIV, would refuse to undertake a test for the AIDS virus

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Four out of five men in Swaziland, the nation with the world's highest rate of HIV, would refuse to undertake a test for the Aids virus, official figures showed on Friday.

A total 79.6 percent of those questioned in a survey said they would not be willing to take a test, while only a minority (46 percent) said they were prepared to use condoms, the central statistics office said.

The same survey further revealed that 40 percent of Swazi men believed that spousal abuse could be justified under certain circumstances.

Close to 40 percent of adults in the landlocked southern African nation are living with HIV and AIDS, the highest infection rate anywhere in the world, according to UN figures.

In a report released last year, the Physicians for Human Rights organisation said that a cultural belief that women are inferior to men had helped spur the rapid spread of HIV in Swaziland, Africa's last absolute monarchy.

The current monarch, King Mswati III, has 13 wives. – (Sapa-AFP)

 

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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