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The Effect of Hiv/Aids on Women

  • Date Submitted: 05/16/2011 05:27 AM
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The Effect of HIV/AIDS on Women
      The Soroptimist International of the Americas published a white paper on Women and the HIV/AIDS crisis that outlines not only some of the factors that make women vulnerable to the disease, but also the consequences they face if they or a relative become infected as well as possible solutions to the rising number of new HIV/AIDS cases in women.
      A troubling trend has emerged within the past few years, showing a steady increase of women being infected with HIV/AIDS annually. This trend is especially prominent in sub-Saharan Africa.   While the disease is infecting more women than ever before and now accounts for nearly half of those living with HIV worldwide, 60 percent of the people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are female (“Women and HIV/AIDS” 1-2).
      The Soroptimist white paper addresses many different factors that are contributing to the vulnerability of women to this disease.   Poverty, violence, cultural norms and customs, biology, lack of education, lack of accessible and affordable healthcare, and marriage issues are all noted as contributing to the rise of female HIV infections (“Women and HIV/AIDS” 3-8).   These seemingly diverse factors are linked together in an underlying practice of gender inequality, which is the main contributor to the spread of the pandemic (“Women and HIV/AIDS” 2).   The consequences of African women contracting the disease are usually dire and range from economic disadvantages to the stigma and discrimination they are faced with as well as the risk of transmitting the disease to their children (“Women and HIV/AIDS” 8-10).
      The Soroptimist offers solutions to decrease the number of new infections of HIV/AIDS in women worldwide by focusing on poverty, gender inequality and HIV/AIDS, three issues that are all related to each other and must be addressed simultaneously in order to produce effective results.   Education and self-empowerment among women, as well as the importance...

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