View Full Version : Rape as a Cure for AIDS

Tom Odom
06-06-2009, 12:04 PM
This was a new one to me. But then again I am not really surprised.

Child rape survivor saves 'virgin myth' victims (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/06/04/cnnheroes.betty.makoni/index.html)

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Hope was 14 years old when her uncle raped her.

Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network to help Zimbabwe's young sexual abuse victims.

"He trapped me to the ground and covered my mouth with his hand," said the 18-year-old from Zimbabwe. "He threatened to kill me if I ever told anybody."

So, she kept quiet.

"After a while people around the villages started saying that I looked pregnant," she said.

Hope was not only pregnant, but her uncle had infected her with HIV.

06-06-2009, 04:08 PM
I have a friend who has been working at an AIDS clinic in Ghana off and on for the last four years. It is somewhat telling that she wants to get an MA and focus on Epidemiology and Witchcraft. It seems that there are a lot of barriers posed by lack of education and folklore.

06-06-2009, 04:22 PM
I heard about this a few years ago. Sadly this practice is not confined to Zimbabwe but has spread to other sub-Saharan countries. 14-years old is at the higher age range of victims; Id say typically the victims are under 5.
Here's another tragic story! (http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=7658899)

06-06-2009, 05:02 PM
I have also seen where this has been a common practice in parts of South Africa for some time now.


06-06-2009, 05:11 PM
I have to wonder if these men really believe raping girls is a cure or if that's simply an excuse.

06-06-2009, 07:22 PM
You would be surprised how widespread the belief in witches, spells, magic etc. is in the Congo. Even more surprising to me was how some very well educated people believed in it just as strongly as the guy dragging a pus-pus (untroubled by any knowledge of French spelling am I) around.

So I would guess he believed it. How much of his total motivation that belief comprised is another question.

06-06-2009, 10:45 PM
with our insistance on cultural and moral relativism, but I'm reminded of the quote by Sir Charles Napier (refering to the Hindu custom of sati or suttee):

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."