THIS WILL MOVE YOU TO TEARS... 27 Year Old Gorgeous Lady EMOTIONALLY NARRATES How Her SPONSOR aka SUG@R DA'DDY BLESSED Her With The DREADED HIV VIRUS (PHOTOS)
The danger of the “blessers” has been in the spotlight at the International AIDS Conference in Durban this week.
In South Africa, seven million people live with HIV - and older men are thought to be largely to blame for the shockingly high rate of infections among teenage girls and young women.
“To the 'blessers', there is only one level I want: the zero level, zero tolerance for men who put adolescent girls at risk for HIV,” UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe declared on Monday at the conference's opening session.
Every week, an estimated 2 000 South African women between the ages of 15 and 24 contract HIV.
Girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are up to eight times more likely to be HIV-positive than boys the same age.
Age-gap relationships are the engine driving the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, explained Professor Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).
The programme examined the genetic sequences of the HIV virus in a community in the KwaZulu-Natal province - the hotbed of South Africa's epidemic - to track how it was being spread.
The results revealed a cycle of infection.
“Over three out of every five young women - teenagers and women in their very early 20s - acquired HIV from a man around his thirties, about eight to 10 years older,” Abdool Karim told AFP.
The skewed power dynamics in these relationships make it difficult for the young women to demand safe s3'x, increasing their chances of contracting the virus.
“You don't even want to talk c0nd0ms, or the guy will think you're being pr0'miscu0us,” said Motsumi, who was 17 when she started going out with her older partner.
“You know you should, but he's in control of the s3'x: when you have it, how you have it.”
It was a problem made worse by parents and nurses more intent on delivering moral lectures than helping her make informed decisions, she said.
As infected young women grow older and reach their thirties, they infect the next group of men “who then infect the next group of young women, and so it goes round and round,” said Abdool Karim.
“Blessers” has overtaken “sugar daddies” as the common term in South Africa, emerging from the widely used “blessed” hashtag on social media posts and photographs.
“It's transactional, not love,” said Motsumi who, after a string of such relationships, is sharing her experiences at the Durban conference.
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