Why the fuss?
Women are at greater risk of contracting HIV-AIDS than men. Because of systemic gender inequalities, they are less able to protect themselves and their children from HIV-AIDS. Even fifteen years ago, data showed that married women’s single greatest HIV-AIDS risk factor is a husband with multiple partners. The lack of education, livelihood skills, access to information, mobility, defense against domestic violence, and access to legal and health services that is imposed on women leaves them highly vulnerable to HIV-AIDS.
Women are also biologically more susceptible to HIV-AIDS. The combined outcome can be seen in mature AIDS epidemics, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa. There, women now make up 57% of people living with HIV-AIDS, and women aged 15-24 are three times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts. In India the percentage of women living with HIV-AIDS has now risen to 39%, an indication of the same trend. HIV-AIDS further complicates efforts to eradicate poverty in India, and women and children suffer the most.
HIV is now the leading cause of death and disease among women aged 15-49. The only risk factor for nine out of ten women contracting the virus is their husband. However, because of systemic gender inequalities, women are less able to protect themselves and their children from HIV-AIDS.
More than "AIDS awareness"
There is high “AIDS awareness” in Andhra Pradesh. However, AIDS awareness alone does not result in reduced risk. Almost universally, high awareness of HIV-AIDS co-exists with risk-taking behavior. Multi-partner sex, the highest risk factor for HIV transmission in India, is actually increasing in Andhra Pradesh. Those who understand how HIV-AIDS is transmitted and prevented do have somewhat higher rates of behaviour change. However, providing knowledge on transmission modes and preventative measures generally makes little difference to women who want to protect themselves. It is men who generally decide when and with whom to have intercourse and whether or not to use condoms. Most women lack the capacity to negotiate abstinence or a condom with their male sex partners. Read how Nivedita will change this.
• Download and post the above poster in your office and/or
• Encourage people to watch Nivedita at 7:35 pm on the Doordarshan Saptagiri network.
• Watch the Nivedita tv episodes online , or
• Buy DVDs and VCDS on our secure online shopping portal.
• Download and print out answers to common legal questions of vulnerable women and HIV-Positive people.
• Learn more about the Nivedita serial.
Government and non-government organizations, especially those already involved in microfinance and woman empowerment programs can take special advantage ofdiscussion questions specifically tailored to watching Nivedita in small groups. It’s an effortless way to expand your microfinance work into the important health domain.
Activists, register for access to our online interactive referral network to help people you serve to rise above their vulnerability to HIV-AIDS. Gain instant access to:
• The Domestic Violence Act 2005,
• Protection from Sex Trafficking,
• Referrals to clinics for investigation of STI/STD Symptoms and treatment,
• HIV testing and
• Many other legal and health services.
• Learn more about the referral network