South Africa, Ghana Laments The Rise of HIV Virus Amount Women

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a deadly virus which attacks the immune system rendering the body defenseless thereby reduces people's resistance to illness and can cause AIDS. It is a major health treat not just to Africa, but to the world at large. Statistics by the UNAID has shown that the population of people living with HIV in the world is about 36.7 million as at the end of 2015. Of this, an estimated population of 25.5 million people is living with this deadly virus in sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for about 69 percent of the total population of those living with HIV. A further breakdown of this figure shown that both the Eastern and southern parts of Africa account of about 19 million of this population while the western and central accounting for about 6.5 million. The Northern parts of Africa are the least affected with the whole of the Middle East and northern Africa accounting for just 230,000. 

Women are the most affected by this virus. A recent report revealed that about 18.6 million women and girls are living with HIV in the world. The figure accounts for about 51% of people living with HIV worldwide. Africa women are the most affected in the world. Countries most hit by the disease in Africa are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. While this figure may be shocking, a recent report revealed that HIV is on the rise with more women being affected. According to a publication on South Africa Times Live revealed that a about 2‚000 girls and young women are infected with HIV every week in South Africa alone. This was made known by the South African basic education deputy minister Enver Surty on Wednesday during a presentation of the department’s integrated policy on HIV‚ TB and STIs in schools. While speaking at a three-day 8th SA Aids Conference at the Durban International Convention Centre, the minister who said lamented on the state of the situation, stated that the government cannot sit down and watch as the situation deteriorate. 

He said; 
'A staggering 2‚000 girls and young women are newly-infected with HIV every single week. Fifty-two weeks of the year - this is Ellis Park Stadium filled twice or Soccer City in Nasrec with every single seat taken plus [people] outside‚ or a capacity crowd at Moses Mabhida just down the road from here with an additional 35‚000 outside‚” said Surty.
“We cannot let this situation continue. It will undermine every effort we make towards creating a prosperous and thriving society.”

In a bid to stop more spreading of the virus, the National Policy Department has stated that it plans to facilitate access to male and female condoms for pupils over the age of 12 as well as all educators‚ school support staff and officials. This will also include information on the use of condoms.
This situation is not only limited to south African alone as recent report by UNAIDS on HIV prevalence revealed that 160,000 women and girls in Ghana are living with the virus in the west African country of Ghana. According to the report, Ghana is among countries with the highest prevalence rate in West Africa. A statement by the country’s outgoing representative of UNAID, Girmay Haile revealed that fight against stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS has not been successful. He said that this is largely due to social norms and cultures. While as stating that the criminalization of sex work has not helped the issue either.

He said;
“If there is any area that we haven’t succeeded then it is that area of stigmatization and discrimination.” He further explained that reproductive health education and HIV/AIDS education are not friendly enough to sustain the fight against HIV/AIDS.
 “Even though we have made considerable progress we still haven’t been able to arrest the situation because they are in conflict with the law and the tendency is for them to go underground, so we are unable to reach them to offer these services to get them out of it”.

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