Gender and HIV/AIDS in Africa: Our hope lies in the future
Journal of Health Communication 5(suppl): 123-126
Publication date: 2000
Looking into the future of the epidemic demands a critical evaluation of the past and present. Despite some of the successes reported, we cannot feel any measure of comfort in the picture which stares us in the face, particularly when we review the situation of women and HIV/AIDS in Africa. We know that girls and young women still have the highest and fastest growing rates of HIV and STD infections. New evidence (UNAIDS, 1999) indicates that there are now more HIV infections in women than in men. Fifty-five percent of infected adults are women, translating into six positive women for every five HIV infected men. In 1998, 60% of new HIV infections were in young people aged 15 to 24 and in many countries, girls in that age range were six times more likely to be infected than boys. Although, amongst other successes, recently discovered drug to reduce transmission of HIV from a woman to her child have provided a ray of hope. But there are still a lot of hurdles to cross because these recent advances have offered little to the mothers who need life saving therapy themselves, and because they provide the backbone of care of infants and children at the home and in the community.