Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Agence France-Presse Examines Spread of HIV/AIDS Among Married Women in Cambodia
Agence France-Presse on Thursday examined the HIV/AIDS epidemic among married Cambodian women, who are "largely closed off" from prevention programs because of "the taboos and prejudices of a male-dominated society." According to data gathered at the end of 2003, about 96% of the 57,500 HIV-positive women in Cambodia likely are married and have not engaged in commercial sex work. Married women in the country often have a difficult time negotiating condom use, and only about 1% of married couples use condoms, according to a study by the U.N. Development Fund for Women and the Ministry of Women's Affairs. Some married women also find it difficult to persuade their husbands to get tested for HIV. "The infection of monogamous married women is one of the real tragedies of the epidemic here," Matthew Warner-Smith, acting UNAIDS country coordinator in Cambodia, said, adding, "The real injustice is women cannot do anything about it. The power dynamics are so heavily tilted in the favor of married men." Cambodia's estimated HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 1.9% is the highest in Asia, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 12/29/05).
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