Shedding Light on the Importance of HIV/AIDS Awareness
Throughout our Women’s Month 2018 programme, the Susters4Life team spent time with women from some of South Africa’s most impoverished communities. During this time, we came across many heartbreaking cases where women had contracted HIV/AIDS from their abusive partners. This troubling situation has motivated us to take action.
As we start preparing ourselves for our next major campaign – our 16 Days of Activism programme – we are also planning more HIV and AIDS awareness training for our team. With each workshop, we learn more about how HIV/AIDS impacts the women of our country. We hope this deeper knowledge will empower us to offer holistic workshops that address all of these issues.
HIV Impacting Women in South Africa
At a recent workshop we attended, women were asked to describe the words and feelings that come up for them when thinking about HIV. The group’s answers included words like fear, secrecy, prejudice, exclusion, anger, isolation and lack of information.
Research shows that HIV rates are rising in South Africa’s young women and girls. In fact, young women are contracting HIV at twice the rate of young men. This has been largely attributed to gender-based violence, specifically sexual violence. Reports have also revealed that young women are at greater risk of infection because of early sexual relationships with older men who are already HIV positive.
To reduce this threat, it’s crucial that we empower and educate women, helping them to make safe, well-informed sexual choices and to break the cycle of sexual abuse.
Gearing Up for 16 Days of Activism
16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children is a worldwide campaign that runs during November and December each year. It begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th November) and ends on Human Rights Day (10th December).
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness around the abuse and violence that affects so many women and children in our society on a daily basis. Ultimately, the goal is to break the cycle and eradicate this violence.
There are several key dates that fall during the 16 Days period, including World AIDS Day on 1st December. This is an excellent opportunity for our team and our supporters to show support for people living with HIV, and to get involved in the fight against this disease.
Susters4Life looks forward to a challenging but productive 16 Days campaign as we tackle issues like HIV/AIDS awareness head-on.