HIV and AIDS
Millions of people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
More and more of them are women and girls. In much of southern
Africa, for every 4 men infected with HIV there are 6 women infected.
There is no cure for HIV or AIDS. But treatment can help
people with HIV live longer and in better health. To provide care
for those who need it and to protect ourselves and each other
from HIV and AIDS, we must be willing to talk about HIV with our
families and friends.
➤ HIV is
HIV and AIDS
“AIDS is a disease that shines in hush and thrives on secrecy. It was prospering because
people were choosing not to talk about it... I wanted to talk about AIDS so that at least
my children, and yours, would be spared. They would know and have the information
about AIDS before they became sexually active, and be able to talk about it.”
—Noerine Kaleeba, founder of TASO, The AIDS Service Organization, Uganda
Any woman may face HIV and AIDS
Most women do not think they are at risk of getting HIV infection.
They may think that only homosexuals or women who have many
sex partners (like a sex worker), or women who use drugs, have
any chance of becoming infected with HIV. This is not true. In some
communities, married women get HIV more than anyone else.
Communities that have faced HIV together have learned how to
discuss HIV and are working to improve prevention and provide care
and support for the infected. Women are leading many of these efforts.
➤ Even women who
know they are at risk
may be unable to
(see page 191).
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012