Indian Women Should Protect Themselves From HIV

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Women living in India should protect themselves from HIV by usingcondoms because they "cannot trust men" to be "careful," RenukaChowdhury, India's minister for women and child development, said onMonday at a meeting of the National Women Forum of the Indian Network for People Living With HIV/AIDS, Reutersreports. According to Chowdhury, the sexual behavior of many men inIndia is fueling the spread of HIV. Women "cannot trust men or [their]husbands, with apologies to the men present here," she said, adding,"If you believe that men will be careful, then you can forget aboutprotecting yourself."

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According to some advocates andofficials, many women contract HIV after their husbands visitcommercial sex workers, and most women do not have the power tonegotiate condom use with their husbands.

Women are "soembarrassed to ask about condoms," Chowdhury said, adding, "Women needto get condoms to protect themselves. Let the men be suspicious." In anattempt to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, India earlier this monthlaunched a $2.8 billion campaign that will focus on condom promotionover the next five years, Reuters reports. Under theplan, the country aims to increase use of condoms from 2.1 billioncondoms this year to 3.5 billion by 2012 (Zaheer, Reuters, 7/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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