Having more than one relationship at a time, a practice termed ‘€œmultiple and concurrent partnerships or MCP’€ by social scientists, has been identified as one of the main drivers of HIV infection in the southern African region. The discourse on multiple and concurrent partners started at a SADC meeting held in Maseru, Lesotho, in 2006, says Soul City’€™s Senior Executive of Media Programmes, Lebo Ramafoko.

‘€œFollowing that meeting, Soul City with its partners in 10 countries conducted research and the findings were startling in their similarities. Multiple and concurrent partners is a widely accepted practice and yet it is the most risky in accelerating HIV’€.

 Ramafoko went on to explain what multiple and concurrent partnerships are.

‘€œThe practice of having two or more partnerships that continue over the same period of time where you’€™ve got one leg in one relationship and another one in another relationship,’€ she said.

Researchers say people in such relationships stand a higher risk of contracting HIV because, unlike in one-night stands, the longer the sexual relationship the greater the chance that people will stop using condoms, which can lead to the spread of HIV.

The Soul City series, ‘€œOne Love’€, which is currently showing on SABC TV’€™s Channel 1, tells the gripping tale of Zimele, a middle-class married man and father of two teenagers who starts an extra-marital affair with 19-year-old Lulu. At the same time, Lulu is involved with Zakes, a guy her own age.   This is a typical story of sugar-daddy meets girl. The repercussions of this intricate web of relationships could be disastrous.


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