17
Aug
07

Vulnerable Women As Face of HIV/Aids

16 August 2007
Godwin Haruna
Lagos

Women necessarily take the centre stage in any attempt at halting the spread of HIV/AIDS for obvious reasons. They are the most affected when issues of the pandemic manifest in public health. Perhaps, it is in view of this that the formation of Coalition of Women on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (COWHAN) by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) becomes imperative as a meaningful strategy to stem the tide.

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)’s executive director, Noeleen Heyer, declared in June 2001 that there is indeed a direct correlation between women’s low status, the violation of their human rights and HIV transmission. The reason that AIDS has escalated into a pandemic is because inequality between women and men continues to be pervasive and persistent. She asserts that the time has come for the AIDS community to join hands with the women’s community to hold governments accountable.

According to UNAIDS 2004 report on global AIDS pandemic, women and girls are more vulnerable and susceptible to HIV/AIDS infection than men. In sub-Saharan Africa, women are 30 per cent more likely to be infected than men and 15-24 year-old women are 3 times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts. Leaders across the world agree that women are more infected, more affected and bear the brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic yet little progress has been made in the area of addressing the rights of women which has been affected with HIV/AIDS. [To read the rest of this article, click here. – allAfrica.com]

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