HIV-positive women, children raped: study

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iol news pic aids day 6 AP A woman attaches a condom on the board during an Aids awareness campaign in Seoul. Photo: AP/ Lee Jin-man

A human rights violations study revealed that a number of women and children living with HIV/Aids were being raped and abused by family members or healthcare workers, according to a report on Friday.

In 57 percent of the cases, the study found that family members were the main culprits while about 10 percent of the abuse occurred in healthcare institutions, the Dispatch Online reported.

Rapes, beatings, stabbings and even murder were reported.

The study was conducted in the OR Tambo District by the Eastern Cape Aids Council and National Association of People Living With Aids.

According to the report some of the case studies included a young man who raped an HIV-positive woman because he wanted to know what it felt like to have Aids.

An HIV-positive father raped his daughter because he wanted them to die together.

In two other instances, fathers raped their virgin daughters to be “cured” of their HIV status.

“I cannot plant a cabbage and then let somebody else harvest it,” one of the fathers was quoted as saying.

Women with HIV/Aids had been locked in shacks by families who feared they would shame the family as well as to prevent further transmission.

Family members were calling those living with the virus “useless”, “careless”, “stupid”, “nobodies” and “prostitutes” who got what they deserved.

Dr Siva Pillay, superintendent-general for the Eastern Cape health department, said the department was aware of the study and had a few problems with the manner in which it was conducted and its findings.

He did not specify what exactly were the problems.

Pillay said that the issue of HIV/Aids and stigma was more than a health problem, it was a serious social issue that needed to be tackled by every social institution. – Sapa


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