Nearly Every Woman Living with HIV/AIDs in Brazil has Suffered Violence

Via Akimbo, a new report issued by the non-governmental organization Gestos highlights the disturbing link between HIV/AIDS and violence against women; according to the study, 97.5% of Brazilian women with HIV have suffered some type of violence throughout their lives, with 79.2% of cases occurring before the diagnosis of HIV.

The report examines the problem of violence and its relationship to HIV and AIDS in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina as part of a larger report entitled “Two faces of one reality: Violence against women and the feminization of HIV / AIDS.”

It is estimated that of the 630,000 people infected with HIV in Brazil, 34.9% are female. Although fewer women than men have the virus, statistics released in the latest report of UNAIDS in November show that the proportion of women infected for every person with AIDS has increased from six in 1989 to 1.6 last year. This increase is related to incidences of violence; according to recent data, 10 women were murdered daily in Brazil, from 1997 to 2007, totaling 41,532 murder victims. These murders are frequently at the hands of intimate partners.

I think we can all agree that these numbers are staggering and disturbing. And this phenomenon isn’t restricted to Brazil or Latin America: as we reported back in October, top UN officials have confirmed that more than a third of all women in the world will be forced into sex, beaten or abused by a partner or family member in their lifetime.

While the numbers can seem overwhelming, this isn’t a lost cause. Click here to access a fact sheet “Seven Things the World Can Do to End Violence Against Women” and learn more about actions you can take to prevent the violation of women’s health and rights around the world. Click here to learn more about the International Violence Against Women Act.

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