More African women are suffering from the HIV epidemic today than men. According to the UNAIDS (n.d), the activists and international agencies’ research continue to show astonishing figures concerning the subject of HIV/AIDS infections in Africa with relation to the gender parity. It also placed forward the importance of campaign to help the women in the effort to counter the disease.
Social Cultural Issues of HIV/AIDS on African Women
The African woman encounters many challenges in her daily life. Even at the time of illness, she has to find the strength to get out of bed and cater for the children’s needs.
Every morning calls for the process to search for food, fetch water and maybe firewood. Most people in these developing countries live a day at a time, without any extra or future plans (Fuler, 2008). In most instances, the dependence fall on the well-wishers or the non-governmental charitable organization and this probably befalls occasionally.
Considering majority of the women who mainly hail from the poverty infested areas, if the child is not infected, the probability of that child suffering from malnutrition is very high. Most husbands do not have stable work to support the families and these forces the men to live the family to search for the same and such actions are mostly never counterproductive.
Most of the infected women also face discrimination from the family members especially the in-laws who point accusing fingers at them. They are treated as outcasts as a way of expelling the condition from the community.
The only available resources remain dedicated for the drugs of which the “Mother Nature” consciousness causes her to serve the infected children first or probably because her hope for life is long gone. The women’s only concern therefore remains to be that of the children.
The HIV AIDS epidemic has entered another calamitous decade in Africa especially for the woman. The common scenarios in the East and Southern Africa according to the recent concerns by the government, and other joint non-governmental organization programs, have become conscious of the plight the African woman has to face (DeCapua, 2010).
Today the global predicament against AIDS does not only focus on the African face in general. “Scientist and researchers are scrambling to find the causes, fashions or new policies regarding AIDS in Africa” (UNAIDS n.d).
Biological Issues of HIV/AIDS on African Women
The need for agencies to educate women has become a critical issue. If people do not take the educational initiative to fight the epidemic, women may become an endangered species in Africa. The women ought to be educated regarding their biological nature. Female reproductive body structures cause high susceptibility to the HIV/AIDS infections than their male counterparts.
The infection rate has risen among the young women and this is attributable to their sexual active nature. Their bodies are still in the developmental stage and probably the reason behind the sexual activeness. Biologically, the infection of HIV the virus causing AIDS on women translates to infection of at least one of the children especially due to the illiteracy rates (Fuller, 2008).
There is probably ignorance, lack of enough resources or illiteracy that makes majority of the African women suffer from such conditions at the alarming rate.
As part of the procedures in finding out why the epidemic is a serious factor that need urgent consideration, there is need to educate women on the biological nature of their bodies and ways of avoiding infections especially the mother-child transmission. Arguably, the virus first spread at an alarming rate in Africa compared to other continents leaving very many people devastated, dreadful and venerable to many other deadly opportunistic infections for a long period.
According to (UNAIDS, n.d.) the probable reason behind this phenomenon is lack of proper and enough attention by the government and its people over the difficulty its populace faces especially the illiteracy levels in women. The responsibility is not women’s, but it is a social and economical for everyone connected to the infected.
Psychological Issues of HIV/AIDS on African Women
The level of illiteracy in most African countries is very high especially among women and the girl child. The probable explanation behind this is the cultural practices. Today, there have been remarkable efforts especially by the non-governmental organizations concerning the empowerment of the girl-child.
The cultural believes creates a psychological perception that the girl child ought to be the home person to cater for the husband and children thus education is not a requirement or a consideration. Most communities or ethnicities married off their teenage girls in exchange for the hefty dowry remunerations thus denying the girl child her right to education.
These are the most probable psychological perspectives that cause the current illiteracy levels among the African women today. This is arguably the biggest challenge today’s education system in Africa has to face and deal with. The liberation of the girl child does not come easily. Sexual education is almost a taboo in most African cultural settings, and it only finds a better elaboration during the rights of passage.
The administration of sexual education occurs in most parts of the continent today without necessarily having to be concern over the education setting. With the help of well-wishers such as donors, there is a fight with the quest to liberate the girl child.
Current Illiteracy rates means the type of education on provision is evidently not in line with issues concerning prevalence but a guidance to the way of life as per traditions. One of the biggest challenges the sexual education system has to face concerns the practice of the cultural customs for passage from one social group to another, which are still in practice in most communities today.
The connection between the cultural rituals and believes have a close connection, for instance, the girl child circumcision and early marriages. Most people are still not ready to leave out those cultural believes that kill.
DeCapua, J. (2010, March 8).New HIV/AIDS Research Agenda to Better Respond to Women and Children. Voice of America News (VOA) Retrieved March 15, 2010 from http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/health/decapua-aids-new-strategy-8mar10-86894087.html
Fuller, L.K. (2008). African women’s unique vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS: communication perspectives and promises Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
UNAIDS. (n.d.) Global health: U.S. Agency for International Development fights AIDS in Africa, but better data needed to measure impact: report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on African Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate. New York, NY. DIANE Publishers