Women and HIV/AIDS
Quotes about Women and HIV/AIDS.
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- 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.
- Marcella Alsan, "The Church & AIDS in Africa: Condoms & the Culture of Life". Commonweal: A Review of Religion, Politics, and Culture. 133 (8), (April 2006). Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-11-28
- As the Executive Director of UNAIDS, I lead the work of the United Nations to tackle AIDS. I’m also someone who has lost family members to AIDS. This is personal. Both my own family experience and our collective experience at the United Nations have highlighted the same key lesson: the struggle to beat AIDS is inseparable from the struggle for women’s rights and from the struggle against all forms of discrimination. AIDS can be beaten, but it will only be beaten if we take on the social and economic injustices that perpetuate it and spur more scientific innovations to address the real needs of women and girls and people living with and vulnerable to HIV.
- Worldwide, AIDS remains the biggest killer of women aged 15–49 years. To end AIDS by 2030, we must end gender-based violence, inequality and insecurity and we must ensure that women and girls have equal access to education, health and employment. We need to transform our societies so that no one is second class and everyone’s human rights are respected. AIDS cannot be beaten while marginalized communities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, people who inject drugs and sex workers, live in fear of the state or of socially sanctioned violence and abuse. Beating AIDS depends on tackling all forms of discrimination. I want to thank all the brave and determined social justice movements who are the true leaders in this work. I salute you.
- Feminism, human rights and zero discrimination are values deeply rooted across the world: they express our humanity, our recognition that I am because you are. And they are central to the struggle to beat AIDS. Let us beat AIDS. It can be done.