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Meel, B. L. 2003. “A Study on the Prevalence of HIV-seropositivity among Rape Survivals in Transkei, South Africa.” Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine 10 (2): 65–70.
Author: B. L. Meel
Background: South Africa has the highest incidence of rape, including child rape, in the world. The country has about 5-million individuals infected with HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is becoming a life-threatening consequence of rape. It is therefore important to provide anti-retroviral drugs and some provinces have already begun to do so.
Objective: To estimate the prevalence of HIV-seropositivity in the victims of rape in Transkei.
Methods: All the victims of rape who attended Sinawe Rape Crisis Center in Umtata General Hospital during daytime from Monday to Friday between November 2000 and May 2002 were included in the study. All were tested for VDRL and HIV.
Results: A total of 243 victims were examined. 22 (9%) were seropositive for HIV. Two blood results were not available. One hundred and sixty six (68.3%) were less than 20 years old, 57 (23.4%) were less than 10 years, and 12 (4.9%) were less than 5 years of age. The highest HIV-positivity (2.8%) was found among the adolescents (15–19 years). No children of less than 5 years were infected with HIV. Only 5 (2.2%) returned for the second HIV test, and one (0.4%) seroconverted after 3 months.
Conclusion: There were 219 (90%) rape victims who were HIV negative at the time of the incident. Serious consideration must be given to cover rape victims with anti-retroviral agents to prevent them contracting HIV infection.
Keywords: Rape survivors, HIV seropositivity, Postexposure prophylaxis, Anti-retroviral drugs
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