As a reminder that the US is not the only place on Earth where folks have to fight for their right to contraception, last week we learned from the UN that that it is in fact just as we suspected!: Women need access to both hormonal contraceptives and condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection.
UNAIDS in Geneva did yet another study on the issue. They reviewed recent epidemiological studies on the transmission and acquisition of HIV by women using hormonal contraceptives to see if the current model was still the right one. They found that it is indeed true (as stated in the WHO‘s current recommendation) that condoms are the most effective method to prevent HIV infection. In a press statement, the agency stated:
“While a range of contraceptives protect against unintended pregnancies, only condoms, male and female, provide dual protection by stopping HIV transmission and preventing unintended pregnancies.”
According the UN about half of the 34 million people living with HIV are women. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 60 percent of all new HIV infections occur in women. press statement. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, said:
“Women need safe contraceptive and HIV prevention options that they can own and manage. New investments into research for female controlled HIV prevention options and safe contraceptive methods are essential…Not giving women and girls access to these methods increases their vulnerability to HIV infection.”
UNAIDS recommends that people who are sexually active should have full access to information and counseling to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health needs. Access to contraception saves lives! Captain Obvious (photo unavailable), a superhero that wears a shiny leotard, has this very statement emblazoned on buttons and totebags that she distributes when traveling the world.
Can someone send this memo to the leaders of the GOP? And add this to the thing we tell folks in sex-ed? OK, thanks.