Constructions of sexuality and HIV risk among young people in Venda, South Africa: implications for HIV prevention

  • Veronica Sivhabu, Maretha Visser
  • African Journal of AIDS Research, April 2019, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2019.1630449

How school going boys and girls in Venda think about their gender roles and HIV risk.

What is it about?

The paper explores how school going boys and girls think about their gender roles and HIV risk. This is contrasted in how community leaders view young people's behaviour. Findings show that HIV-risk behaviour is prominent in young people's behaviour and that it is related to their conceptualisation of gender based norms (how a young men and women should behave).

Why is it important?

The findings show that gender conceptualisations that put young people at risk of HIV, did not change as a result of HIV education. If gender conceptualisations do not change, preventive behaviour will be difficult to achieve. That is why HIV prevention is not effective to change risk behaviour of young people


Professor Maretha Visser
University of Pretoria

This research highlights that the next step in HIV prevention should be to focus on gender roles/perceptions. The ideal of hegemonic masculinity should be critically discussed in groups of boys and girls

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Maretha Visser