16 August 2007

A promiscuous minority

Not a large chunk of the global population has AIDS, or is a transmitter of the virus. Yet, the threat of the spread of the AIDS virus is a global concern. That’s because the AIDS virus spreads mainly through sexual contact. And sex is something we all engage in.

According to data from international AIDS research (surveyed and released by agencies from the developed world), Africa alone is not a concentration of the AIDS virus. It’s the Third World in general. Besides Africa (and there, there seems to be a higher concentration in the south of the continent), countries like India, China, Thailand and Myanmar are in precarious stages of launching AIDS epidemics.

Of course, it’s not everyone in the Third World who is responsible for spreading the AIDS virus. Just a promiscuous minority of the population.

Apparently, studies of sexual behaviour of people in the Third World show that a small portion of the population – prostitutes, and truck drivers and migrant workers who patronise them – are responsible for the spread of the AIDS virus. This lifestyle of rampant promiscuity seems to be commonplace in poor countries, and has been driving the spread of AIDS.

Culturally, in the Third World, although a married woman’s fidelity is well-guarded, her husband often strays, having sex with multiple partners (such as prostitutes). This increases the chances of AIDS infection and transmission, including the possibility of the men infecting their wives. Since Islamic cultures allow multiple wives for a man, this introduces a multiplier effect in the spread of the AIDS infection.

Moreover, most people in the Third World either do not have access to condoms, or are not educated enough to follow the practice of using condoms during sex, or are not allowed by their religion or customs to use preventive methods during sex. This further enhances the possibilities of infection and transmission of the AIDS virus.

Add to this list the number of women raped by soldiers (infected with the AIDS virus) during wars and civil wars, typically in Africa, and you have another source of AIDS transmission.

Anyway, by now you must have got the basic drift of this post. That, when it comes to spreading the AIDS virus, and perhaps influencing human evolution in the Third World this millennium, it’s a minority of promiscuous men who are responsible.

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