Women are just as prone to HIV/AIDS as men. However, women contract HIV/AIDS in different ways that may not be peculiar to men. Here we discussed multiple ways women contract HIV/AIDS. We also highlighted the impact of HIV/AIDS on patients, how to reduce sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS in women, and how mothers can prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS to their children.
Some ways of contraction of HIV/AIDS in women include;
Polygamy/multiple sex partners: The African culture has promoted polygamy and has encouraged men to have multiple sex partners in men which have in turn helped to increase the prevalence of HIV among women. A man can have as many wives as he desires and still engages in extramarital affairs. Hence one man can spread HIV to as many women as possible thus making marriage in itself a risk factor for HIV infection.
Early Marriage:Early marriage increases women’s chance of being infected with HIV. Young girls have thinner vaginal membranes than older women making them more susceptible to tears and STIs including HIV. The husbands, on the other hand, are likely to be older, already sexually active and involved in high risk sex.
Harmful Cultural and Traditional Practices:Harmful cultural practices such as female circumcision, wife inheritance, widowhood-related rituals, have put women at high risk of being infected with HIV.
Gender-Inequality:Gender-inequality fueled by various social, cultural, and religious beliefs has contributed in the spread of HIV. In many cultures it is indecent for women to negotiate safer sex, it is associated with promiscuity. Religious organizations have also contributed by discouraging contraception including condom use and promoting ignorance in women regarding sexual matters in the name of innocence/purity.
Impact of HIV/AIDS
Feeling of worthlessness and withdrawal from social engagements as a result of stigma and discrimination.
Decreased productivity due to illness.
Conflict in marriage and divorce due to mistrust.
Poverty and poor nutrition due to strains on finances.