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

By L. Fuller

This can be an in-depth examine the biomedical, socio-cultural, fiscal, criminal and political, and academic vulnerabilities confronted via the inhabitants that's such a lot liable to the chance of contracting HIV/AIDS: African girls.

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Additional info for African Women's Unique Vulnerabilities to HIV AIDS: Communication Perspectives and Promises

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In the battle against apartheid, the solidarity of people from around the world strengthened us in some of our darkest moments. Now, as we seek to counter the ravages of HIV/AIDS on all continents upon our sons and daughters, we need the same solidarity, the same passion, the same commitment and energy. Desmond Tutu, Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa (2005). Introduction 29 What sets this diatribe apart from what has come before is an in-depth, holistic appraisal of biomedical, social, financial, political, and educational vulnerabilities faced by the at-risk population of African girls and women—along with hopeful prospects for development by means of various communication strategies.

In Zimbabwe, for example, grandmothers head up nearly half of households with AIDS orphans, Wilson and Adamchak (2001, p. 8) calling it “the grandmothers’ disease”—a an emerging phenomenon known as “skip-generation parenting” (Fuller, 2008). Infant mortality rates (IMR), whereby one child in five has a chance to live to age five (or worse in Sierra Leone), continue to climb in Africa due to the disease—whether by motherto-child transmission or by breastfeeding. We wince at news that one-third of pregnant African women are at risk of transmitting HIV to their fetus or infant during phases of gestation, birthing, and/or breastfeeding—especially when we know that the drug Nevirapine could significantly reduce those rates.

Regardless, though, the hardest part would be disseminating the information that such a preventative was even available, never mind setting up an action plan for distributing it. As most health personnel, both in hospital and in clinics, are women, many of them are at risk of infection due to exposure to blood and blood products. Blood, at the same time sacred and taboo, holds great power. The workplace, then, becomes yet another arena of vulnerability for certain African women, as well as caregivers in the home who are ignorant about how one “catches” HIV/AIDS.

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