This International Women’s Month we’re putting a spotlight on our young leaders and activists who are committed to advancing women’s right to health and gender equality.
Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. Globally, young women are twice as likely to become infected with HIV as their male counterparts. For young women and girls, this inequality stems from diverse factors, including limited access to education and sexual health information and services, as well as harmful practices and traditions such as early marriage and early pregnancy.
MTV Staying Alive supports trailblazing grantees as they challenge the sociocultural, economic and political inequalities that make women and girls more vulnerable to HIV, find out more below as they detail their vision for a HIV free generation.
“At the age of 7, I lost my father. His death certificate stated that he had severe bronchitis. At age 14, I discovered that my father had been HIV+ and at the time of his death he had transitioned into full blown AIDs. 10 years after he passed away, I watched my mother transition from HIV to AIDs. |I had to feed her, clothe her, bathe her and take care of her. Losing her brought the disease into focus for me. The pain I had experienced, the loss, the shame…all of that I never wanted another child to go through that at all.
This began my journey with the work that I am doing. I prove psychosocial support to young people and young girls. I work with organisations to design, implement and evaluate evidence based programs to work toward HIV prevention among young people. A world free of AIDS is what I would love to eventually see”
“I truly believe in a HIV free generation. To me, it is not impossible to have a world where there are zero new infections. I got into the work I do which is connecting young girls with proven life saving information on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS for this reason. In most cases, school going young girls are prone to high risk behaviour because they are misinformed. Sharing with them the truth about the risks of dating older men, for example, means that young people can make better choices when it comes to hosing sexual partners, reducing the spread of HIV.”
Photos shot by Charlie Sarsfield ,