Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Women’s Lack of Authority in Sexual Decision-Making Hampers HIV Prevention Efforts, Piot Says
UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot in a Reuters interview on Monday said that women's lack of authority in sexual decision-making and the lack of female-controlled HIV prevention methods is one of the biggest reasons "we are having such a big [HIV/AIDS] epidemic." According to Piot, the proportion of HIV-positive individuals who are women is increasing. "We know that in many societies now the biggest risk factor is to be married at an early age, always with an older man," Piot said, adding, "[T]he majority of women, in Thailand, in East Africa, are now only infected by their only sex partner, their husbands." Piot in the interview also spoke about abstinence-until-marriage programs, such as those funded by the U.S. "We're not against abstinence programs as long as it's part of the overall picture," Piot said, adding, "For a 14-year-old girl, it is a human right to be abstinent and not to be married, not to be raped" (Leopold, Reuters, 5/30).
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