"Gangsterism," HIV, and "tik:" An exploration of Cape Town youth
Since early 2000, the Western Cape of South Africa has been documented as an area for monitoring the spread of HIV. The majority of HIV cases occur within individuals between the ages of 15-49 years, and the epidemic is believed to be complicated by the increased use of crystal methamphetamine (CM), or “tik.” Eighty percent of current CM users in Cape Town are under the age of 21 years, and almost 18% of current HIV cases are in individuals under the age of 24 years. Gang membership in youth may also be complicating the HIV problem as gangs feed the social acceptability of “tik” and encourage sexual violence. With almost half the population of Cape Town in their mid-twenties, the threat of a new HIV epidemic complicated by CM use has become a concern in the young adults of the city. Research into the relationships between gang membership and drugs/violence has been extensively studied in the Cape Flats. Yet, few have examined the role of gangs in the perpetuation of HIV. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was exploratory in nature. Key informant interviews from Cape Town youth were used as case illustrations to generate potential hypotheses on the interrelationships between “gangsterism,” “tik” use, and HIV. Such awareness is important if effective efforts to reduce HIV incidence in Cape Town (and Sub-Saharan Africa) are to transpire. If the problem of CM is not addressed quickly, the Cape Flats may find itself with a higher rate of an already uncontrollable HIV epidemic. ^
South African Studies|Health Sciences, Epidemiology
""Gangsterism," HIV, and "tik:" An exploration of Cape Town youth"
(January 1, 2011).
Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest).