Women and HIV/AIDS

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Quotes about Women and HIV/AIDS.


  • As already noted, the church in Africa is facing a grim reality even when it comes to sex in marriage. According to UNICEF, teenage brides in some African countries are becoming infected with the AIDS virus at higher rates than sexually active unmarried girls of similar ages. That’s because young brides are acquiring HIV from their husbands, who tend to be many years older and were infected before marriage. Clearly, abstinence and fidelity prevention strategies will not reliably protect these women. The result is reflected in the epidemiology of the disease: More than two-thirds of new HIV infections among people aged fifteen to twenty-five occur among women. In some areas of Africa, girls are five to six times more likely to be HIV-positive than boys of the same age.
    The suffering associated with these alarming trends is difficult to comprehend. Stephen Lewis, UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, summarized it this way: “To this catalogue of horrors, there must be added, in the case of Africa, that the pandemic is now, conclusively and irreversibly, a ferocious assault on women and girls.” What has been called the “feminization of poverty” is a particularly lethal phenomenon in conjunction with AIDS.
  • One of the stumbling blocks in our prevention [efforts against HIV] has been the inconsistency or lack of efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis in those who need it the most. Namely young women, particularly those in southern Africa.
  • Women need options for HIV prevention, as women worldwide may not always be able to control their own risk of HIV infection. Another option for HIV prevention is exciting and ground-breaking.

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