African Women Address HIV/AIDS-Related Abuse

Armen Hareyan's picture

Hundreds ofAfrican women on Monday gathered for a conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,to discuss issues surrounding violence against women living with HIV/AIDS,their rights and access to antiretroviral treatment, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. "Women are the oneswho most severely bear [the] brunt of human rights abuse," and they"have been prone to violences and other atrocities related to theirgender" and HIV/AIDS status, Bernice Heloo, president of the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa, told attendees of the four-dayconference. About 500 women from 30 sub-Saharan African countries are attendingthe conference.

"Many women have been driven from their marital homes, stripped of theirhard-earned possessions, and separated from their children and people theylove," Heloo said. She called on the international community to providetechnical and financial assistance to "strengthen the battle againstgender inequality in Africa -- a key factor in the spread of the pandemic -- andto contribute to the promotion of human rights for people living with andaffected by HIV/AIDS." The conference was organized by SWAA and itschapter in Burkina Fasowith support from UNAIDS, the country's government and several HIV/AIDSnongovernmental organizations, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo!News, 2/4).

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