n Africa Insight - Infected and affected : what the HIV / AIDS epidemic entails for girls and women in Africa

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno deficiency Syndrome (HIV / AIDS) has turned out to be particularly intricate for girls and women, in that they not only tend to be infected in greater numbers compared to males, but are also entrusted with the care of sick family members and orphans. The epidemic has caused mortality among young adults to soar, leaving a trail of destitution in the form of reduced income streams, food insecurity, insecure property rights and vulnerable livelihoods. Gender inequality in society, gender-based human rights abuses, poverty among women, violence, and lack of legal protection, among other things, increase the incidence of HIV / AIDS infection among females. The spread of infection can be curtailed by dismantling the factors that compel girls and women to engage in risky behaviour.

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