JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 20 (UPI) -- One in every four South African men interviewed for a survey admitted having raped at least one woman, the Medical Research Council reported.
Almost 8 percent said they had raped 10 or more women and girls.
"Understanding Men's Health and Use of Violence: Interface of Rape and HIV in South Africa" involved a survey in the Eastern Cape and KwaZuluNatal provinces. The MRC acknowledged the men questioned were younger than the general population in South Africa, with half under 25 and 70 percent under 30, the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Network said.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of AIDS in the world with 5.5 million people infected with the HIV virus in a population of about 48 million. The country also has a high rate of sexual violence with about 500,000 rapes reported every year.
Investigators say only one in 25 men who commits a rape is convicted.
While 27.6 percent of those surveyed said they had committed rape and 23.2 percent said they had raped two to three women.
The study found men who admitted rape were also more likely to report other risky sexual behavior. But it did not find any significant difference in HIV infection between rapists and non-rapists.
"They were more likely to have had more than 20 sexual partners, transactional sex, sex with a prostitute, heavy alcohol consumption, to have been physically violent towards a partner, raped a man, and not to have used a condom consistently in the past year," the report said.