Life Skills Development/Women and HIV

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Information on HIV AND WOMEN (information derived from Suwazi Youth Manual) Some reason why women are at greater risk of getting HIV and AIDS.

Physically women are at greater risk than men for HIV because..

  • STI sores are an excellent place for HIV to enter body. Because women's sores are often hidden in th evagina, they may not realize they have an STI
  • Semen has a higher concentration of HIV virus than vaginal fluid and thus a man can give more of the virus to the female.
  • Womens vaginal mucus membrane offer an easy way for the virus to enter her body
  • Tearing of th evaginal walls is more likely to happen in a yonger woman , which may cause sores or bleeding, and thus increases the risk of infection.

Culturally, women are at greater risk than men for HIV beause..

  • Gender roles often do not permit women to participate in sexual or reproductive decisions
  • Acceptance of oldere men with younger girls- older men use their money and power to persuade young girls or young women to have sex.
  • Marriage traditions.

Economically women are at greater risk of getting HIV because..

  • Women often lack education , advanced trainning, and economic opportunities to support a family in some countries.
  • Poverty and lack of job opportunity options often leave young women and mothers no choice but to exchange sex for money or food
  • Normally woman takes care of th ehouse hold chores, looks after elders, cook and prepare food, fetch water and firewoods, which leaves very little time to get a job that pays "good money".

N.B Note that there might be cultural variations


Swazi Youth Manual: A Life Skill Manual for Youth peer Educators