The Washington Post has an article today on a gel considered effective in reducing women’s risk of HIV infection.
What it fails to report is a full account on WHY women get HIV infection or find it hard to prevent the disease.
Here’s their account:
Of the 33 million people worldwide infected with the AIDS virus, 16 million are women. In Africa, 60 percent of people with HIV infection are women, nearly all of whom acquired the virus through sex. For many, the proven methods of preventing infection, such as abstinence, being faithful and using condoms, are either not an option or out of their control. A vaginal microbicide that could be used with or without a man’s knowledge is considered essential, missing until now.
WHY is it not an option or out of their control?!?! Perhaps UNAIDS can lend a hand:
Violence and the threat of violence dramatically increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV by making it difficult or impossible for women to abstain from sex, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom. The risk of HIV transmission increases during violent or forced-sex situations as the abrasions caused through forced penetration can facilitate entry of the virus.
Violence, or fear of violence, also makes it difficult for women and girls to disclose their HIV status and access essential HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. Women may also avoid HIV testing due to fears of violence and abandonment in a resulting discovery of HIV-positive status.
For crying-out loud, why can’t reporters handle men’s violence against women?! Ignorance? Denial? Fear of being considered a “man-hater” because you analyze its gender component?! (That backlash has really set us back decades…)
The New York Times did the same thing – African studies give women hope in HIV fight They really don’t mention much about men’s behavior – they do realize these women are getting HIV through sexual contact with men, don’t they? Funny half the equation is left out of the discussion, especially about prevention.