A representative survey of more than 3,000 South Africans between the ages of 20 and 29 years in the greater Cape Town area has found that black South Africans were eight times more likely to believe AIDS conspiracy theories, specifically that scientists engineered HIV.
Among black respondents, 20 percent believed that HIV was man-made and created by scientists as an attack on people of African descent, according to a University of Cape Town (UCT) study.
New research by Nicoli Nattrass, director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at UCT, also found that AIDS conspiracy believers are 50 percent less likely to report having used a condom the last time they had sex than non-believers. Respondents with traditional values, and those who had lower socio-economic status but were not religious, were more likely to believe there was a conspiracy.
The Nattrass research, co-authored with colleague, Eduard Grebe and presented at the 1st HIV Social Sciences and Humanities Conference in Durban, South Africa, also showed that people who had heard of the Treatment Action Campaign(TAC), a South African AIDS lobby group, were much less likely to believe a conspiracy existed and twice as likely to use condoms.