I wanted to define a few terms from a previous post.  It is not that I don’t think that you are smart enough to know these terms, but they may mean something different in this cultural context.

Pedophilia – sex with children.  This is an issue in two ways: the increasing sex industry and early marriage.  One thing that plays into this is that it is erroneously thought that having sex with a virgin can cure someone of HIV/AIDS.

Early Marriage – Typically in the States we think of early marriage as anyone 18-23 perhaps.  In many countries in Africa early marriage refers to girls marrying (many with no choice in the matter) as early as the age of 12 to men older than she. 

Wife inheritance – When a man dies, his brother marries the widow to provide for her and her children.  She tends to become a lesser citizen and may not be the only wife of her new husband.  This can cause all sorts of issues, but one important one is regarding the spread of HIV/AIDS.  If the husband died of HIV/AIDS and the wife has it but the brother does not he will contract the disease by marrying the wife and having sex with her.  He may then spread HIV/AIDS to his other wife or wives.  The majority of the Senegalese population is Muslim and that tradition allows for more than one wife.

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