20040522 Rape of Individuals with Disability AIDS and the folk belief of virgin cleansing Lancet
20040522 Rape of Individuals with Disability AIDS and the folk belief of virgin cleansing
Letter to The Lancet
Virgin cleansing—the belief that people who have a sexually transmitted disease can rid themselves of the
condition by transferring the infective organism by having sexual intercourse with a virgin—has been discussed in The Lancet in relation to HIV/AIDS. Although the prevalence of virgin cleansing is unclear, accounts of the belief are reported from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
The Authors, Nora Ellen Groce & Reshma Trasi of the Global Health Division, Yale School of Public Health, have identified a variation of this practice in their Global Survey on HIV/AIDS and Disability that warrants attention—“virgin rape” of individuals with disability, by people who believe themselves positive for HIV.