HIV Advocates News: African Women Are Hopeful On the New HIV Protection


HIV Advocates aims to spread awareness about HIV by sharing the latest developments, statistics and sharing success stories of HIV-positive people, who’ve made it through the worst of times and are now leading productive lives.


More than half of the 35 million people living with HIV around the world are women. Most of these women are from the sub-Saharan Africa, where access to quality medical care is a major problem for women As a result, women in Africa do not have the means to protect themselves against HIV. Protection against HIV requires women to use contraceptive methods, which is not acceptable to their male partners, especially in communities with low literacy rates. Hence, despite availability, women are unable to use contraceptive methods which successfully prevent HIV transmission. Similar is the case with PReP pills, a pill taken daily and developed to prevent HIV in high-risk population. But it has shown no effectiveness for African women, because of the social stigma which prevents them from taking the pill daily.


With extensive research being undertaken to develop drugs and barrier methods, researchers are excited at the potential benefits of a newly developed vaginal ring. The big international study on the ring, dubbed the ASPIRE study, began in 2012, and enrolled more than 2,600 HIV-free women ages 18 to 45 across 15 sites in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Discrete, imperceptible to the male partner and only needs to be replaced once every four weeks – the ring is purported to have an effectiveness rate of 61 percent. Researchers are hopeful that this ring will remove the cultural block in African women, and allow them to prevent infection and transmission of HIV.


HIV Advocates which is a global initiative that aims to share news, experiences, strategies and new tools that aim to energize human rights movements and communities fighting HIV/AIDS, is the answer. Supported by Levi Strauss Foundation and powered by B-Change Foundation,  HIV Advocates encourages existing and would-be activists to explore the power of social media and other Internet avenues to help spread the message across – that discrimination and stigma no longer have any place in society and that society should accept the LGBT community members as they are.


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