Tagsalcohol abuse, city press, daily sun, intergenerational sex, risky sex, sugar daddies, teen pregnancy, the new age
A harmful cocktail: Alcohol and HIV
27 January 2012
Over the past few weeks, media coverage has gravitated towards the potential follies of youth. This is unsurprising given that a new year means new beginnings for many young people still struggling to negotiate the dawn of adult independence.
However not all of this coverage has engaged with HIV where it could have.
The New Age and the Daily Sun highlighted HIV as it related to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Health MEC’s efforts at establishing a campaign to educate young women on the dangers of cross-generational sex or ‘sugar daddies’.
But Sunday’s (22 January) City Press featured a full page dedicated to the health risks of alcohol abuse among youngsters which was devoid of any mention of HIV.
Despite listing numerous health conditions associated with excessive alcohol consumption and featuring testimonies of teens in which inebriated sex featured heavily, the City Press article ignored the health risk of HIV in spite of the fact that it has proven links to alcohol abuse.
According to USAID, numerous studies conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa testify to the fact that excessive alcohol consumption lowers inhibitions. This in turn can increase the chance that individuals will engage in risky sexual practices-such as having multiple sexual partners and having unprotected sex-that could potentially lead to exposure to HIV.
In a society where rampant unplanned teen pregnancy is a clear indicator of just how much unprotected sex is going on, behaviours which put young people at risk of HIV need to be unreservedly exposed, explored and explained.
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