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Health

Official: Less
attention paid to AIDS by South African gays

Official: Less
attention paid to AIDS by South African gays

The focus on safe sex among gay South Africans seems to be "dropping off," according to Ivan Toms, executive director of health services for Cape Town.

According to the South African newspaper Cape Times, Toms said, "Young, crazy people are starting to play young, crazy risk games."

He attributed this "scary change" of an increased taking of sexual risks--especially among younger men--to their thinking that AIDS is a chronic disease that could be managed with medication.

Toms quoted two sources of HIV data that put the total number of people living with HIV in South Africa in 2005 between 5.2 million and 5.5 million. The HIV prevalence rate among the adult population, ages 15 to 49, was between 18% and 19%.

"Clearly, we have a huge issue that needs a bigger, faster response. Ultimately, we're not on top of the problem," Toms said. (The Advocate)

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