African Women's Unique Vulnerabilities to HIV AIDS: by L. Fuller

By L. Fuller

This is often an in-depth examine the biomedical, socio-cultural, financial, criminal and political, and academic vulnerabilities confronted via the inhabitants that's so much prone to the chance of contracting HIV/AIDS: African ladies.

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239). In Africa, from the start to today, while blood recipients remain at risk, spread of the disease still has been overwhelmingly heterosexual (Koch-Weser and Vanderschmidt, 1988; Berkley, 1991), whether vaginal or anal, without condoms. It did not take long to realize that this disease would have far-reaching implications on societies, economies, medical services, policies, and just plain people. Medicine, and history, would never be the same. 4% of the population infected and where two thirds of the country’s one million people somehow survive on less than 70 cents a day, where life expectancy has gone from 57 years of age to 31 and where 46% of the population is under age 15, where AIDS kills some 50 people per day and HIV infects 55, where there are 63,000 orphans, where there are only two physicians for every 10,000 people, and where 16,000 Swazis died in 2006 alone from AIDS.

Admittedly, once they came on board, the scientific community has made incredible advances in pharmaceutical and clinical care, even if there still is no prevention or no cure. What is needed, quite obviously, is continued cooperation from all professions and publics. African Gender/Media Organizations Fortunately, there are a number of communications resources throughout Africa, as well as some elsewhere that have had enormous inf luence on HIV/ AIDS there. What follows here are brief introductions to some that play important roles in disseminating information about HIV/AIDS: the African Gender and Media Initiative (GEM), African Woman and Child Features Service (AWC), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), African Women’s Media Center (AWMC), AfricaWoman, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC-Africa-Women), the Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), the Community Health Media Trust (CHMT), Eldis, the Gender and Media Southern African Network (GEMSA), Gender Links (GL), The Health Communication Partnership (HCP), the Liberia Media Project, Media Action Plan (MAP) on HIV/ AIDS and Gender, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the Open Society 24 African Women’s Unique Vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication, Women’sNet, and the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC).

My co-edited book Communicating about Communicable Diseases (with Lilless McPherson Shilling, in 1995) included chapters on pedagogy, AIDS activism, gays, hemophiliacs, prevention strategies, support groups, caregivers, and coping with AIDS, but there was not much on Africa. Scandinavia, Australia, Thailand, Peru, and Turkey were included in my edited volume Media-Mediated AIDS (Fuller, 2003b), but again the continent was noticeably missing. 22 African Women’s Unique Vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS Corso (2003) has drawn the connection between communication and assistance for FGM-related programs, just as Taverne (1996) did relative for anti-stigma strategy about levirate practices in Burkina Faso.

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