Category Healthcare
SUB CATEGORIES General  |  HIV |  Medical Schemes | 

Sugar-daddies bring HIV in through the boardroom door

03 February 2007 Diane Ritson - PeopleManagement

Sexual behaviour amongst better-off South Africans is leading to a 'third wave' of HIV/Aids infections, according to a recent Markinor 5 year research study released earlier last week.

Whereas previously the most affected societal grouping was the young and the poor, a marked increase in several areas of sexual behaviour has led to a worrying swell in HIV/Aids infections amongst those who had previously been considered as low or nil risk.

Several behavioural factors have been aligned to this development, amongst them, inter-generational sex, where older, affluent men and women are having sex with the younger higher risk group, and an increase in the sugar-daddy phenomenon. Sugar-mommies are also becoming more prevalent. More and more professional mature women are satisfying their 'needs' with much younger, sexually active and viral young men. These young men are mostly vulnerable, in need of a little luxury in their lives and for the sake of discretion mostly come from a location and social class that is far removed from their own. 

"Multiple sugar-daddies or mommies seem to be the norm in some cases" according to PeopleManagement CEO Diane Ritson, "There's one for shoes, one for clothes and another for food. Faced with this scenario it is not difficult to understand why this disease in permeating into the higher echelons of society", continues Ritson.

Perceived by many to be the disease firstly of homosexuals, then prostitutes and poorer heterosexuals, this increase in transactional sex is leading to a shift in the apparent norm. However, businessmen and women who travel domestically or internationally, modern day migrant workers, in a surprising twist, are increasingly culpable in this 'third wave'.

Arrogance as opposed to ignorance plays a major part in this dichotomy, educated men and women with access to the plethora of communications media that exist in South Africa cannot be ignorant to the cause and effects of HIV/Aids.

Ritson adds, "Men and women with power appear to hold an aphrodisiac-like effect on the opposite sex and this in itself is having a systemic impact on businesses locally, again this behaviour is endangering the lives and the health of not only themselves but that of their partners."

Out of sight, out of mind seems to be an alarmingly acceptable trend that will cause havoc to a population that until now has been dealt a friendly card when it comes to the HIV/Aids infection rate.


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