African Women and Girls Bearing Heaviest HIV Burden

The strides healthcare is making in Africa

According to the report released recently by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/aids, it gives gender-related AIDs statistics. Out of the total number of people globally who are living with HIV, fifty percent of them are women.  Fifty-seven percent of them are from sub-Saharan countries in Africa. In every ten men infected by the virus, there are thirteen women on average. Between the age of fifteen and twenty-four, the ratio of African women to young men that are infected is two to one in South Africa. This is better than Kenya and Mali, whose ratio is four to one.

Why are the women most affected by AIDs?

One of the reasons why most affected people are women is that the principle of prevention of AIDs strategy of being faithful, abstinence and use of condoms is not that effective for girls and women as compared to men and boys. The principal was brought up by international initiatives like the presidential emergency plan for aids relief.

A in the “ABC” urges young people to abstain from pre-marital sex. The recommendation comes due to the notion that the spread of AIDs comes out of personal sexual behavior. Safe sex education is the only way that can modify it. However, more studies show that sexual relations in most women are as a result of a particular factor but not out of individual choice or wish.

Factors Leading to African Women and Girls Bearing the Heaviest HIV Burden

  • Economic Malaise. A more significant percentage of about 80% of Africans live in rural areas. This is despite most jobs being in the cities. This, therefore, make men flock the cities as they look for greener pastures. With unemployment rates, some countries hitting up to forty percent, many of these men lack jobs. This makes them prone to wanting behaviors. Some start engaging in casual sex while others get into drugs. This significantly exposes them to the likelihood of getting infected. This will, later on, spread to heir women in the village.
  • Demographics. In western countries, people under the age of thirty are usually twenty-five of the total population. This is different in developing countries, whereby sixty percent of the population is under thirty years. This is to mean most of the Africans at this age are at the peak of their reproduction lives.  Women provide eighty percent of the agricultural labor force. This is even though only five percent of them own a piece of land. This leaves women desperate, which forces them to depend too often on sexual relations.
  • Cases of sexual exploitation and rape

  • The studies have shown that rape cases are on the rise in Africa. However, most of them go unreported. Fe example in South Africa, out of the 53000 cases reported in 2003, only seven percent of them result in a conviction. The many cases of rape cases contribute to the 5.33 million people living with the virus in South Africa. These rapes cases are mostly in the refugee camp.

On ABC, it advises married couples to remain faithful to each other. This is because the spreading of HIV grows due to multiple partners. The research shows, most young HIV positive women contracts from their spouse. So, even if these women remain faithful, it’s hard for them to escape contracting the virus if their men don’t remain loyal, as discussed above.

Those people who cannot abstain or remain faithful to their spouse they should at least use a condom. It has proven to protect the virus spread at a specific rate. However, there are challenges that accompany condom usage. Many people don’t like using them with their main partner. Women leave the duties of handling the condom, abstaining as well as knowing how to use them to their men. Female condoms, on the other hand, are not readily available in Africa. And if possible, they are expensive for most of them to get one.

Recommendations towards Reducing African Woman and Girls Bearing Heaviest HIV Burden

This ABC model is potentially useful to many African men and boys. But this is different case with the girls and women. Hence, the need for the following recommendation changes into the intuitive.

  • Efforts to offer an education that is broad in that will empower girls. This should be in a company of the current skills that are behavior modified based training. For grown-ups, a microloan will go a long way in helping them to be economically independent. This will help these women to know together with skills. In the end, they will be able to make the right sexual decisions as well as personal decisions.
  • Global initiatives should try to support policy changes. They should as well encourage the adoption of laws that are related to property inheritance for the groups of people like widows, orphans. Also, they should put into consideration laws against sexual exploitation, sexual assault, as well as domestic violence. There should be improvement between doctor’s prosecutors and police when handling rape cases.
  • Since the condom has proven effective, its distribution should get funding. Female condoms should also distribute that way, and they can have the power to have control over sexual decisions and relations.
Last words

To reduce the disproportionate effect of aids in Africa on women and girls, the ABC model needs to be supplemented.


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