OF the more than 34 million people living with HIV worldwide, half are women and three quarters of the world’s HIV positive women live in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) investigator Margaret Kasaro explains that the major driver for HIV among the women in this region, Zambia inclusive, is heterosexual intercourse.
In fact, studies have indicated that women are twice as likely as their male counterparts to contract HIV during sexual intercourse and this is mainly attributed to biological factors that more of them are susceptible.
“This is more so for younger women who are more vulnerable.
In Africa, young women are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV than young men of their age group,” Dr Kasaro says.
On the other hand individual, regional and global efforts to promote abstinence, monogamy, and the use of female condoms have not only proved ineffective but also there had been no practical methods in most settings.
This has prompted the need for research based on effective prevention strategies that women can control themselves.
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