Hiv/Aids and Women

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HIV/AIDS and Women

Women are facing devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in world over. In India women are already economically, culturally and socially disadvantaged lacking access to treatment, financial support and education. They are outside the structures of power and decision -making. They lack the opportunity of participating equally within the community and are subjected to punitive laws, norms and practices exercising control over their bodies and sexual relations. They are perceived as the main transmitters of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) referred generally as women diseases. The traditional beliefs about sex, blood and other type of disease transmission, these perceptions have become fertile ground for the stigmatization of women within the context of HIV/AIDS. Consider these facts:

Women are increasingly infected with HIV/AIDS than infected men. Women are being infected significantly at a younger age than men. Young girls in their teens and women in early twenties are becoming infected than women in any other age-group. Cultural norms favoring early marriages and early pregnancies or discouraging the use of condoms make women more vulnerable. Rape, sexual abuse and coercion, exchange of sex with older men for favours, sexual exploitation by teachers increasingly make women more vulnerable to HIV/SIDS. Among women alcohol and drugs are often linked to the exchange of sex for drugs or money increasing the risk of HIV. How does HIV/AIDS affect women?

The transmission of HIV infection in women is through the same routes as men. A small number of women become infected through artificial insemination from an infected person. Lesbians do get HIV/AIDS by using drugs, sharing needles and sharing sex toys with an infected partner without washing. Infected women transmit the infection to their unborn babies during pregnancy, birth and breast -feeding. Misconceptions:

Withdrawal during intercourse.
Birth control pills and...
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