Violence against women and HIV

Intimate partner violence in relationships prevent a woman’s ability to negotiate condom use and protect herself resulting in transmission of HIV. Early marriages greatly contribute to most of these cases.

Cultural practices that encourage early marriages affect the girl child’s ability to attain her full potential whether in education or in a social setup.

Girls married at an early stage are most likely to be beaten or threatened by their husbands than girls who marry later because they are not able to ascertain their wishes, such as whether to practice safer sex or follow their partners demands.

Poverty increases vulnerability to HIV since poor women are financially dependent on men leading to unplanned early marriages. Having sex in exchange material or financial support increases the risks of HIV transmission since one man can be financially supporting multiple partners. Getting into relationships with older men for the promise of money or gifts expose young women to unsafe sex and risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Women empowerment through education is also fundamental to preventing gender-based violence or forced-sex situations. Creating awareness on gender equality at a community level is very necessary to educate people on the health effects of forced and unsafe sex.

Mass media can use programs such as audience participation programs to discuss factors related to sexuality, family violence, rape, and HIV/AIDS in order to create a positive impact on knowledge and attitudes.

There is a need to significantly increase efforts of curbing social injustices and violence against women by taking steps to address this violence and as a result improve women’s health and quality of life.

Protect your loved ones and stay safe! Call 1190/21094 to report Gender Based Violence cases