As the world marks World AIDS Day 2016, UNAIDS is calling for urgent action to help women and girls protect themselves from HIV. In its annual report, UNAIDS says that progress on HIV prevention among adults has stalled, and an estimated 2.1 million people were newly infected in 2015.
As Elizabeth’s story demonstrates, HIV is fueled by social ills such as inequality, poverty and discrimination. An individual’s vulnerability to these factors varies over the course of a lifetime. To defeat HIV, UNAIDS suggests a “life-cycle approach” – one that offers diverse prevention solutions for different people throughout their lifetime. Defeating HIV also calls for embracing a comprehensive approach that goes beyond medical prevention methods to address behavioral, cultural and structural factors that predispose people to HIV.
In Sirongo, the fishing village where Elizabeth lives, gender inequality and poverty are some of the most pressing challenges to achieving better HIV prevention.