Instead of vegan clothing, today we’re shining a spotlight on women’s health.
I’m a little late posting about this, but I’d prefer to think that I’m extending the conversation a few more days: March 10th was National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It’s a day to focus our efforts on education and awareness on women and girls. Why them? Well, according to the Women’s HIV Collaborative of NY AIDS blog:
Here in the United States, women comprise about 27% of HIV infections, up from about 8% in 1984. In many countries around the world, women already represent over 50% of HIV infections.
Naina Khanna of RHReality Check interviewed “HIV-positive women leaders around the U.S. to hear their perspectives on why HIV matters, in their own words.”
Vanessa Johnson: It’s the one time of year we see a particular focus on women as a whole group — cutting across race, age, socio-economic status. March 10th is the day all about ALL WOMEN. But March is also Women’s History month and we need to understand women’s health and HIV in the context of women’s history. We need women’s organizations that have not traditionally focused on HIV/AIDS to issue statements to their constituencies that this day matters, and HIV/AIDS matters and is a real issue for women, because it is cutting short our productivity and our lives and that’s less of a contribution we can make to our community.
Some may question why focus on girls and women when both genders have HIV/AIDS. To that I say, because. Because girls and women have a biology that makes me more susceptible to contracting HIV. Because globally girls and women don’t always have the power to demand safe sex. Because even prevention methods are gendered. Tuesday on NPR there was a segment on the debate over HIV prevention that highlighted the gender differences in prevention research. The man in the piece thinks that a gel applicator will deter women as it would provide evidence of her using it and thus not trusting her husband that he is HIV-free. The woman in the piece responds that the women she works with like the gel and just want something that they can control which would keep them safe. Unfortunately the gels aren’t showing that they actually do anything at this point, but the debate over gel versus a pill was enlightening.
What do you think?