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Kamala Sarup: The HIV Risk To Women In South Asia

The HIV Risk To Women In South Asia

By Kamala Sarup

Lack of respect for women's sexual and reproductive rights is a big problem in South Asia. And all represent clear violations of women's rights.

In other hand, poverty, lack of employment opportunities, social discrimination between son and daughter, prevailing about trafficking in humans control, lack of political commitment for seeking problem solution are the root causes for the continuation and increasement of trafficking and HIV Aids in South Asia.

Women living with HIV have no access to family planning services. They also suffer violence in the denial of their sexual and reproductive and economic rights.

Indeed, the government and NGOs could make remarkable contribution to check the spread of AIDS but most NGOs working on AIDS are not strong. There is much duplication of activities. There is no focal point for the development of a policy for the district level AIDS programs.

The majority of HIV infected cases belong to the 20-29 age groups. Overall, the data suggests that HIV infection is becoming widespread.

According to WHO, the young children fall in a high risk group for contracting HIV. According to American epidemiologist has estimated the number of HIV positive cases in South Asia by the end of last year may have reached nearly millions.

HIV/AIDS prevention and control requires a multisectoral approach. A special focus is needed to alleviate the issue of trafficking of women.

In order to achieve the goal in reducing AIDS threat, literacy rate especially for women has to be improved.

Open borders and poverty are the main reasons for women's trafficking. It is speculated that thausends girls are currently working in the brothels. Most of the girls are between the age of 10 to 20 years. However, the lower socio-economic development have further made trafficking and prostitution severe.

The conventional model of trafficking related to some specific ethnic community with economic reasons at the top has been now transformed into new approaches of a blended effect of many background variables viz. Social, economic political and administrative ones.

In other hand, poverty, lack of employment opportunities, illities, lack of consciousness, social discrimination between son and daughter, incomplete and weak laws prevailing about trafficking in humans control, lack of political commitment for seeking problem solution are the root causes for the continuation and increasement of trafficking and HIV Aids in South Asia.

Along with the problem of HIV also has to face the problem of rehabilitating the girls who were sold. Traditional values and norms are the hindrances of rehabilitation efforts. Even the society does not easily accept the girls who were trafficked once.

Working in partnership with international organizations, government NGOs must focus on reaching the goal of AIDS prevention through information, education, condom distribution. They should plan organize an implement programs effectively. May this way we can protect our invaluable citizens from HIV and AIDS threat.


(Kamala Sarup recently wrote a research on "Women trafficking, HIV and role of media" supported by B.P. Koirala Foundation, New Delhi).

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