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Women are suffering from HIV/AIDS

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Women are suffering from HIV/AIDS
Kamala Sarup

Recently, due to violence, terrorism and poverty, HIV/AIDs has been
increasing and women are suffering.  Sadly, many young women turn to
prostitution. These young women are unable to support themselves, so the sex trade is increasing, leading to many more women becoming infected.

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Additionally, women from village areas are sold by their relatives. Lack of employment opportunities and social discrimination, are the root causes of the continuation and spread of HIV/AIDS.

"After my husband was killed, I found no place to stay and no jobs.  No one helped me. I started to sell my body to stay alive.  I found many men never use condoms. When they had physical relations with me, without using condoms, I became infected with HIV, and become a refugee again."  While Radhika was talking with me on the Kathmandu Nepal street, I could see tears in her eyes.  She continued, plainly angry: "There is no
justice for my suffering. No justice for my husband's death. No justice for
my disease."

Violence  has destroyed the women's health system. Women in rural areas
are still facing rampant violence and discrimination in their lives. Rape
and sexual assault against women are all too common.

On the other side,  women cannot afford the expensive drugs and they are
deprived of CD-4 cell count facilities. Those rural women cannot get  ARV
drugs. Anti-viral drugs are expensive. Since violence destroyed all the health centers and the drugs they held, and killed many health workers, women continue suffering. Due to lack of counselling and medical support, women are dying without treatment. The violence creates difficulties in combating HIV.  Recent research shows that increases in diseases are associated with the violence.  

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Many health posts have been closed and looted. Violence create conditions
favorable to the spread of the virus. Violence and  bombs also indirectly disrupt economic and social systems. Poverty brought about by violence leads to increased prostitution, and only a few have access to
information about how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. So-called  violence has contributed to a rise in prostitution, which threatens
women's health.  

The existing law has also made HIV/AIDS infected women further vulnerable. My social worker friend Ranu says, " women want to see more commitment from the government and international health organizations.  Political leadership is key to the fight against HIV, but with the lack of good programs women continue suffering. It is highly essential to address the problem quickly.   Medical treatment and psychological support are essential. We must try to cut down on new cases through preventive education and encouraging the use of preventive measures."

Every year women are being infected and the  authority has failed to stop this health crisis. Program run by NGOs are based in urban cities and rural women have no access to them.  Because of the violence and terrorism, many women are separated from their families, and the with lack of women's empowerment and development women are being
exploited and infected by HIV/AIDs.

Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup associates and writes for She is a regular contributor to United Press International - Asia News. She is specializes in in-depth reporting and writing on peace, anti-war, women, terrorism, democracy, and development. Some of her publications are: Women;s Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal (booklets); Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media, (book); Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (media research). She has also written two collections of stories.

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Journalist, poet and editor Kamala Budhathoki Sarup specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering Freedom, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and advocacy from her location inside the United (more...)

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