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.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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