CategoriesWACI Health News

Behind Her Make-UP Lies The Untold Story

Most of us, I’m sure, grew up in households or communities where it was acceptable for a man to abuse his wife or a woman he cohabited with. Some saw it as a means of spicing up the marriage because not hitting the wife was seen as a sign of lack of love.

Think about that for a second; why should violence be described as love?

The UN defines violence against women as, ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

2019 Estimates published by WHO indicates that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

Worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who have been in a relationship report that they have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

GBV can manifest in a large variety of ways. Some of these include: physical violence, such as assault or slavery; emotional or psychological violence, such as verbal abuse or confinement; sexual abuse, including rape; harmful practices, like child marriage and female genital mutilation; socio-economic violence, which includes denial of resources; and sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse.

This issue is not only devastating for survivors of violence and their families, but has a significant impact on the country at large. Most victims and survivors of GBV are unable to report due to societal stigma and name calling. For most victims, this scares them alot and prevents them from seeking justice.

The prevention, response, and eradication of all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls depend heavily on access to reproductive health services. Most women and girls’ lack access to basic services like safety, protection, and recovery, which makes them vulnerable to unplanned and unintended pregnancies, and high rates of unsafe abortion. GBV also makes women more susceptible to contracting HIV and other STDs (STIs).

This devastating situation cannot be overlooked. GBV can be eliminated if it is prioritized globally as this will aid to achieve gender equality as stated in goal 5 of the SDGs and the empowerment of all women and girls.

As the youth mentorship cohort of AfNHi, this is s clarion call to all, especially African leaders to

  1. Prioritize issues of GBV and women empowerment
  2. Respect, protect and fulfil their human rights obligations to gender equality and to a life free of violence for all, including women, adolescents and girls
  3. Increase funding for SGBV prevention, mitigation and response
  4. Ensure the enforcement of laws addressing SGBV
  5. Ensure access to emergency helplines, police and justice sector response, sexual and reproductive health care, safe shelter and psycho-social counselling.
  6. Increase funds to reproductive health education and services.

Elimination of Gender-based violence is a collective effort. To ensure that there is zero tolerance for GBV, all systems, structures, and institutions must collaborate. It is important for governments, the corporate sector, and all parties involved to make the most of this window of opportunity (16 days) to commit firmly to achieving equal rights for women and girls and put an end to all forms of violence and harmful practices against them.

The time to act is now, more than half of the world population depends on you!

CategoriesAfNHI

The role of young people and the journey to HIV Prevention

World AIDS Day commemorated each year, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness .Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, and organizations and individuals annually endeavor to increase HIV and AIDS awareness and knowledge, speak out against AIDS stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward ending the AIDS Epidemic.

This year’s theme “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. It is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS.

The Adolescent, Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Africa remain disproportionately affected by HIV, while coverage of dedicated programmes for them remains too low. AfNHi is committed to giving the young people a platform for their voices to be heard and on this World AIDS Day, the

youth cohort commemorated it in line with the global celebration with a live Twitter space themed, “The role of the young people and the journey to HIV prevention”.

Waci aids

Itumeleng Mothlabane based in South Africa kick started the conversation by sharing how young prevention champions in her community, took leadership before, during and after COVID – 19 by going to the clinics and finding a variety of ways to involve young people on discussions and programs targeting prevention and de-stigmatization community strategies.

HIV-related stigma has been increasingly recognized as a key factor impeding HIV identification, prevention, and treatment. Stigma and discrimination impact the way communities, family, and partners interact with young people living with HIV, and undermine public health efforts to combat the epidemic. This is largely due to the negative impact stigma has on primary and secondary preventive behaviors such as condom use, HIV testing, engagement in HIV care, and quality of care.

Waci aids2Winnie Akidi, an AfNHi youth cohort member based in Uganda, stated that the young people in Uganda are engaged now more than ever through social media, and other platforms such as through beauty peagents for example Y plus which have allowed for a united front on young people voices in creating awareness on HIV prevention.

Evidence shows that where young people are involved in programming, visible effective programme outcomes and services work towards HIV prevention and new HIV infection among young people. As the saying goes, nothing for Us Without Us, it is therefore vital that young people are engaged continuously to support the HIV response, treatment and prevention.

Waci aids3Saidy Brown, an AfNHi youth cohort member based in South Africa, stated that four decades into the HIV response, inequalities still persist for the most basic services like testing, treatment, and condoms, and even more recently so, for new prevention bio technologies. She did however state that “The future looks bright, given the different options available for HIV prevention. What we deserve is a life free of worry from HIV and provision of a basket of choice will go a long way in meeting community, AGYW needs at the grass root level.

Providing African communities with a variety of acceptable, discreet, and convenient choices for highly effective HIV prevention is imperative NOW, not in the near future. For some people, provision of a buffet of prevention options will allow them to increase the options suitable to them at different points of their lives. As such the need for new women centred HIV prevention options remins a public health , reproductive justice , and human rights imperative.

An estimated 50 adolescent girls die every day from AIDS-related illnesses. And each day, some 460 adolescent girls become infected with HIV. Accountability is critical and we are far behind reaching the Fast-Track Targets for 2020 agreed by all countries in the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. Services for adolescent girls and young women are especially failing to reach those who are falling the furthest behind—adolescent girls and young women who experience gender-based violence, who are sexually exploited or who use drugs, among others.

Waci aids4Victoria Quaynor, based in Ghana concluded the discussion by highliting that we can not ignore that any form of inequalities has a greater probability to contribute to a slow response to the HIV prevention programs currently available accross Africa. Inequalities on HIV prevention options, inequalities on stigma and discrimination, gender inequalities just to mentinon a few.

Gender inequalities particularly, adolescent girls and young women face discrimination that compounds their vulnerabilities to HIV. They are largely invisible, underserved and underrepresented in policies, services and investments.

When girls can’t uphold their human rights—especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights—efforts to get to zero exclusion, zero discrimination, zero violence and zero stigma are undermined. It is time to break the vicious cycle of gender inequities, gender-based violence and HIV infection, once and for all.

HIV is life changing and not limiting- we are greater than HIV.- inc AfNHi youth cohort mentorship 2022

CategoriesAfNHI

The role of young people and the journey to HIV Prevention

World AIDS Day commemorated each year, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness .Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, and organizations and individuals annually endeavor to increase HIV and AIDS awareness and knowledge, speak out against AIDS stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward ending the AIDS Epidemic.

This year’s theme “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. It is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS.

The Adolescent, Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Africa remain disproportionately affected by HIV, while coverage of dedicated programmes for them remains too low. AfNHi is committed to giving the young people a platform for their voices to be heard and on this World AIDS Day, the

youth cohort commemorated it in line with the global celebration with a live Twitter space themed, “The role of the young people and the journey to HIV prevention”.

 

Waci aids

Itumeleng Mothlabane based in South Africa kick started the conversation by sharing how young prevention champions in her community, took leadership before, during and after COVID – 19 by going to the clinics and finding a variety of ways to involve young people on discussions and programs targeting prevention and de-stigmatization community strategies.

HIV-related stigma has been increasingly recognized as a key factor impeding HIV identification, prevention, and treatment. Stigma and discrimination impact the way communities, family, and partners interact with young people living with HIV, and undermine public health efforts to combat the epidemic. This is largely due to the negative impact stigma has on primary and secondary preventive behaviors such as condom use, HIV testing, engagement in HIV care, and quality of care.

Waci aids2Winnie Akidi, an AfNHi youth cohort member based in Uganda, stated that the young people in Uganda are engaged now more than ever through social media, and other platforms such as through beauty peagents for example Y plus which have allowed for a united front on young people voices in creating awareness on HIV prevention.

Evidence shows that where young people are involved in programming, visible effective programme outcomes and services work towards HIV prevention and new HIV infection among young people. As the saying goes, nothing for Us Without Us, it is therefore vital that young people are engaged continuously to support the HIV response, treatment and prevention.

 

Waci aids3Saidy Brown, an AfNHi youth cohort member based in South Africa, stated that four decades into the HIV response, inequalities still persist for the most basic services like testing, treatment, and condoms, and even more recently so, for new prevention bio technologies. She did however state that “The future looks bright, given the different options available for HIV prevention. What we deserve is a life free of worry from HIV and provision of a basket of choice will go a long way in meeting community, AGYW needs at the grass root level.

Providing African communities with a variety of acceptable, discreet, and convenient choices for highly effective HIV prevention is imperative NOW, not in the near future. For some people, provision of a buffet of prevention options will allow them to increase the options suitable to them at different points of their lives. As such the need for new women centred HIV prevention options remins a public health , reproductive justice , and human rights imperative.

An estimated 50 adolescent girls die every day from AIDS-related illnesses. And each day, some 460 adolescent girls become infected with HIV. Accountability is critical and we are far behind reaching the Fast-Track Targets for 2020 agreed by all countries in the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. Services for adolescent girls and young women are especially failing to reach those who are falling the furthest behind—adolescent girls and young women who experience gender-based violence, who are sexually exploited or who use drugs, among others.

Waci aids4Victoria Quaynor, based in Ghana concluded the discussion by highliting that we can not ignore that any form of inequalities has a greater probability to contribute to a slow response to the HIV prevention programs currently available accross Africa. Inequalities on HIV prevention options, inequalities on stigma and discrimination, gender inequalities just to mentinon a few.

Gender inequalities particularly, adolescent girls and young women face discrimination that compounds their vulnerabilities to HIV. They are largely invisible, underserved and underrepresented in policies, services and investments.

When girls can’t uphold their human rights—especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights—efforts to get to zero exclusion, zero discrimination, zero violence and zero stigma are undermined. It is time to break the vicious cycle of gender inequities, gender-based violence and HIV infection, once and for all.

HIV is life changing and not limiting- we are greater than HIV.- inc AfNHi youth cohort mentorship 2022

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