Are people’s sex lives really influenced by soap operas and scandalous celebs?
Young people in South Africa told the research NGO CADRE that they modelled themselves on the confused affairs of soapies, took what they saw on tv and tested it out in real life.
At an HIV forum in Johannesburg last night the promotion of ‘Multiple concurrent partnerships’ in tv dramas and sensational Sunday papers was the topic of discussion.
Having more than one partner at the same time (multiple concurrent partnerships) is one of the most efficient ways to spread and get HIV — and is common in South Africa. But unlike real life, promiscuous soapie characters don’t end up with HIV.
The connection between sleeping around and getting HIV are “muted or non-existent”.
CADRE concluded that it’s time to challenge the sexual practices found in popular soapies, such as multiple concurrent partners, instead of them being accepted as “legitimate sexual practices”.
To their credit, popular dramas like Isidingo have slipped condom use and HIV testing into their stories, resulting in increased numbers of people taking HIV tests.
Sunday papers also came under fire for many articles on concurrent sexual relationships, (analysed by Media Monitoring Africa).
Nearly two-thirds (61%) of all sex acts reported on in five Sunday papers in the month of May 2008 involved concurrent partners.
In all the papers there were only 11 reports on HIV/Aids (eight of 11 in the Sunday Times) compared to 60 reports on sex, and only one linked many partners to HIV risk.
HIV prevention organisations and campaigns — like Soul City’s onelove campaign (talk. respect. protect) and Scrutinize — have guns blazing when it comes to shooting down multiple concurrent partners.
Now if only South Africa’s president-elect and current president would lead by example.
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claire, thanx but i’m deeply disappointed by yr bias towards Cadre & Isidingo! In fact the increase in testin was raised by Generations as a result of the Samuel storyline. What about Rhythm City and Levi’s? On the research side, what about the HSRC & the media monitorin project. You make it sound almost like all the research was Cadre!