The Human Impact

Poor Kenyan women robbed of choice to give birth

The saddest part of the stories told by 40 HIV-positive Kenyan women who are suing the government for forced or coercive sterilisation is not that they can no longer give birth.

Most already have children, often more than they can comfortably provide for.

“Getting food is a problem,” said Pamela Adeka, who was sterilised after giving birth to twins in 2004.

She later gave them up for adoption as she could not afford to raise them and now lives with her HIV-positive, 14-year-old son.

What struck me was their poverty, joblessness and desperate wish to have more children just to secure a roof over their heads.

“I can miss a place to stay because I can’t give birth,” said Sem, a widow living in Nairobi’s Kibera slum who has given birth 10 times, quoted in Robbed of Choice, a recent study by the African Gender and Media Initiative.

When is a condom more than a condom?

When is a condom more than a condom?

When it becomes the catalyst for controversy, intimidation and even criminal prosecution, as it has in many places around the world today, a panel of experts said Sunday.

“There is no reason, in my opinion, why an inert piece of rubber should cause so much conflict and controversy…but it does,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice and head of its Condoms for Life campaign.

He spoke at a session called “The politics of condoms: Cock-ups, controversies and cucumbers,” at the 19th International AIDS Conference which began a six-day run on July 22.

Global women’s agenda lengthy at AIDS 2012 conference

By Lisa Anderson

WASHINGTON (TrustLaw)— Globally, young women between the ages of 15 and 24 years are twice as likely as their male counterparts to contract HIV. HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. Women and girls make up 60 percent of the people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, home to two-thirds of the world’s HIV cases.

Just these few facts, provided in a recent report by the United Nations AIDS programme (UNAIDS), begin to underscore women’s and girls’ severe vulnerability to HIV infection and the toll it takes on their lives.

They also help explain the large number of sessions devoted to these issues at the week-long AIDS2012 conference that began in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

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