310 HIV and AIDS
Train men as
They can go to
the places where
men gather and talk
to them about HIV.
How you can help prevent HIV
In the community
Education is one of the main ways a community can work to
keep HIV from spreading. Here are some ideas:
• Train girls and women to work as peer educators. They can
talk with others alone or in groups to help girls and women
understand their bodies and sexuality, and gain the self-
confidence and skills to demand safer sex.
• Tell the truth about women’s risk of HIV. Help people see
that HIV has roots in poverty and in women’s inability to
protect themselves in their sexual relations.
• Use theater and media to help women feel it is OK to
know about and to prevent HIV. For example, use a play or
comic book to show that ‘good’ girls or women can discuss
HIV with their partners, or can buy condoms and ask their
husbands or boyfriends to use them.
At the same time, you can show different ideas about what
it means to be a man or a woman. Help people question the
idea that men should have many sex partners and that women
should be passive about sex. Show how these ideas are
dangerous to both men’s and women’s health.
• Help parents, teachers, and other adult role
models become more comfortable talking about
sex and HIV with young people.
• Make sure that all people have access to
information and sexual health services, including
condoms, to keep HIV from spreading in the
• Bring education about HIV to community
meeting places—like bars, schools, religious
meetings, and military bases.
Here is an example of how women can work together to protect themselves
To help fight the spread of HIV, the women of Palestina, a small town in
northeastern Brazil, began a ‘sex strike’. After women in the community learned
that a man infected with HIV had unsafe sex with at least two women in the
town, they decided to stop having sex with their husbands and boyfriends. They
demanded that their partners take the test for HIV before they would begin to
have sex again and then insisted upon safer sex practices.
The women will now demand safer sex and proof of an HIV test before they
have sexual relations with a partner. One woman said, “If he won’t practice safer
sex, we won’t go together anymore.”
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012