AIDS is Becoming Feminine – Be Conscious!

Lately, More than half of all new HIV infections occur in women between the ages of 15 to 24 years. The impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls is particularly acute. In many developing or poor countries, women are often economically, culturally and socially disadvantaged and lack equal access to treatment, financial support and education. In a number of societies, women are mistakenly perceived as the main transmitters of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Together with traditional beliefs about sex, blood and the transmission of other diseases, these beliefs provide a basis for the further stigmatization of women within the context of HIV/AIDS.

AIDS is a deadly disease, but also everybody can safe from it by gathering knowledge. While men generally have more access to information on sexual issues than women, some cultural barrier, the sexual knowledge for adolescent girls are often overlooked. Recent survey in Bangladesh by Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation & L.R.B Foundation has shown that while provide HIV information with discussions of safe-sex or gender issue may be discouraged for young girls and women because of the ordinary belief that to inform them about sexuality and safe-sex is to encourage sexual activity. Even though that for fear of encouraging sexual activity, mothers deny imperative information about sexual-live, safe sex, reproductive health information from their daughters.

Bangladesh is a poor country. Not all Adolescent girls are fortunate enough to attend school. This might be for one of a variety of reasons. In some areas, it is needed to pay for schooling, and poor parents may be unable to afford to send a child to school, or may be unable to send all their children to school. Sometimes children will be required to work. In some locations, young people may live in areas where a local school is not accessible. In some circumstances, young people may have been excluded from school for reasons that might be due to the young person’s behaviour, academic or intellectual abilities, or due to discrimination. These young girls are especially vulnerable and neglected, coming under the purview of government programs only once they are pregnant- the majority is out of school and are neither serviced by educational or school health programs nor by child health, reproductive health and nutrition services.

The developing world is now bearing the full brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Gender discrimination, less jobs opportunity, women’s rights and limited access to financial resources of women are more likely to become economically dependent on men, relegated to the subsistence sector or forced into commercial sex work. Men are also beginning to seek younger sexual partners believing that these girls are less likely to be infected with HIV. Young girls are vulnerable to coerced sex, including rape and other sexual abuse – within and outside the family – and forced sex work. Any non-consensual or coerced penetrative sex can carry an increased risk of HIV transmission, particularly as men are not likely to use condoms in these situations. The majority infections take place in infants or young children, adolescent and sexually active adults.

Safe-sex knowledge is an important part of effective HIV prevention. It is generally believed that it enables people to acquire knowledge and develop skills which they can use to protect and promote their sexual health through minimizing the risks that they might face in the course of their sexual experiences. We should being informed them about the facts and the dangers of HIV/AIDS enables young people to protect themselves and is a crucial tool in the battle against HIV/AIDS. There is no cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, so prevention is the only method in which we can place any limits on the epidemic. One of the most economical and effective means of HIV prevention is education – involving young people themselves in the HIV prevention effort.

References: UNAIDS, World Bank, STD network, LRB report 2006