Every time a report on the figures on HIV& AIDS is done, the number of women infected is always higher than that of men. Have you ever wondered why? Statistics showing that men display more risky sexual behaviors than their female counterparts, for example if men are said to have more sexual partners, how comes more women are infected?
In trying to explain this observation, Dr.Mamy, a doctor from Madagascar speaking at a youth and sexuality workshop at the Kenya youth summit at Lenana School gave various reasons. He divided the reasons into two categories; physiological and socio-economic reasons. Among the latter category the reasons listed were,
- The viral load in semen is higher than in vaginal mucus.
- The vaginal membrane is thinner than penile tissue
- Semen remains longer in the vagina.
- Young women are more prone to micro lesions.
From the socio-economic perspective, these are the reasons given;
- Women accept pain and discomfort.
- Social pressure to bear children.
- Vulnerability of younger women/adolescents.
- Women lack knowledge in sexual issues and are unable to express their opinions on such.
- Inability to negotiate for safe sex.
The only way to deal with this grave situation is to empower women to be able to take up more active roles in sexual relations and issues that surround them.