Jan 20, 2013

HIV/AIDS Declines in the Republic of Congo

AUTHOR:Plus NewsSOURCE:Plus News

Irin Plus News has reported that HIV/AIDS prevalence has declined from 4.2% in 2003 to 3.2%. Additionally, HIV infection among pregnant women has also declined from 3.4% in 2009 to 2.8% in 2012 which will lead to less transmission of HIV to newborns. Unfortunately, the feminization of the disease is particularly striking in the Congo where women out number men by 2:1! The Ministry of Health believes that the disparity of infection rates bewteen women and men is likely due to women not being empowered--lack of gainful employment (being self-sufficent economically), lack of education to acquire a skill as well awareness regarding the need to be HIV tested and use condoms, and lastly, the need to be an agent of change. Life for Mothers (LfM) in their recent pilot project found that young women of reproductive age particularly those under 24 were not being tested and were unaware of contraception options. In addition, condom usage was limited. Certainly, with greater empowerment, women will be able to negotiate with their partners more effectively; which should delay pregnancies, increase testing and condom usage and lessen dependence. These initiatives require significant funding which the Congolese government recognizes. LfM applauds their efforts to obtain funding from resources such as oil, mining, etc. To read the entire article please click: http://www.plusnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportID=97275

Did you know?

Women in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die than those in the industrialized world.

Source:UNICEF, 2010


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