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Gender key in addressing AIDS epidemic

"In a community hall in South Africa's largest informal settlement, Soweto, about 20 men and women are seated in a semi-circle, talking about sex and gender roles. Working in groups, they have just completed two lists, one beginning "I'm glad to be a man/woman because ... " and the other, "If I were a man/woman I could ... " The "I'm glad I'm a man" list, compiled by the male group, includes, "because I can have multiple partners," while the women's "If I were a man" list says, "I could sleep around the way I want." The resulting discussion is heating up faster than the corrugated iron roof of the hall. "If a woman says 'no' to sex she's destroying her family because her husband will be forced to go outside for sex," one of the men says.

Dean Peacock...pointed out that so far AIDS awareness campaigns focusing only on women had proved redundant, as women were unable to negotiate safe sex with their male partners.

Research conducted in preparation for designing the MAP project revea

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