Throughout our lives, we’ve heard dreadful stories about the unexpected and inexplicable health decline of family members, neighbors, partners, and the stories usually end with the same villain – AIDS. This seemingly silent killer lurks secretly and is hard to detect but very easy to catch.
Being a woman it all falls on your shoulders considerably harder. People already judge women who are open about intercourse and safety, but especially women whose health or safety failed them. It is particularly hard for women living in established patriarchal societies which value men and their need over women and their health.
What is more disturbing is that more than half of HIV positive people are, in fact, women. And most of them are young women. This disproportionate spread of the disease is due to men having more freedom to choose and say “no” than women.
Women are also looked through the scope of motherhood. Therefore, being an unhealthy mother automatically means being a bad mother. This struggle for basic rights is an ongoing social project which should be everyone’s concern.
Because of unequal rights and freedoms in the world, women are bound to be more affected by this dangerous disease. Ruthless inequalities in economic, social and cultural life put women in a position where they are more at risk than men.
This should be not only a personal mission but a collective goal to provide women with a choice and with the freedom they need to keep themselves healthy and happy. Regardless of whether they are HIV positive or HIV free – women fight hard for their wellbeing and should not have to do it alone.
If you are a woman affected by AIDS or if you are at risk of being affected think about the care you need and the lifestyle changes you need to make. The individual goal should be to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe. But on a grand scale try not to make things harder than they already are.
Women affected by the disease have to work harder to be welcomed and accepted. These women have to watch their physical and mental health much more seriously than other people. They need to think about themselves, their children and potential partners. This is not an easy task and is definitely not an easy life. Support women and girls you know who suffer from HIV/AIDS and make the world a better place starting today.