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close this bookYoung Women: Silence, Suspectibility and the HIV Epidemic (UNDP, 10 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentGender as an independent variable for hiv infection
View the documentSilence
View the documentAge as an independent variable for hiv infection
View the documentAnatomy as destiny?
View the documentSituational factors
View the documentThe unheard scream
View the documentThe prophetic voice
View the documentAn action agenda
View the documentBreaking the silence
View the documentChanging the operational research agenda
View the documentSanctuaries
View the documentSanctions
View the documentSafety
View the documentRestructuring gender
View the documentThe circle of the dance
View the documentReferences

The unheard scream

These data show that girls and young women are excessively vulnerable to HIV infection. When will the agony of these young infected women press upon us? Anecdotal evidence from one geographic area suggests that one half of all young women there aged 15 to 19 years are infected. In other areas, the figure is one in three or one in four8.

When will the pain and anger of these young women goad us to action? Or will we be capable of ignoring this too? There is the possibility of a disturbing parallel in the acceptance throughout the world of the loss of women's lives during pregnancy and childbirth. In Africa, as many as one woman in 21 die in the process of bearing a child. In Asia, it is one in 54; in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in 73. The tragedy and suffering of these women is too often unremarked and their deaths unmarked31. These deaths are needless32.