UN Points To Violence Against Women Leading To The Spread Of HIV

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According to a United Nations official, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (more commonly known by the acronym HIV) continues to spread within the female and homosexual community in Latin America due to the violence and discrimination that other groups pile onto them, meaning that a medical issue plaguing the country stemmed from another major issue, this one sociopolitical.

The official, Deputy Director Luiz Loures of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), says that infections in the female and gay communities in Latin America are increasing, as a result of their discrimination. He says that, as a result of the negative outlook people have towards them, these communities shun society, and avoid even beneficial prevention programs.

Across Latin America, the number of HIV infections has been stagnating, which is a stark contrast to other regions, like Africa, where the cases of HIV are slowly declining.

At a forum held by ICW Latina, a group that brings together women across the region who are suffering from HIV, Lourse, who is also a UN Undersecretary General, says that their data shows a clear link between the discrimination among Latina women, and the high HIV rates in the region. According to him, women who suffer from discrimination and violence are at a higher risk for HIV infection, around 30-50% higher.

Lourse says that, even with the existence of latin women dating services, the women of Latin America suffer from violence more than in any region in the world. Not only that, women in the region also suffer from discrimination in health centers, which Lourse says is appalling and leaves a bad impact on the region.

He says that, whilst it is undoubtedly important that the UN be able to reduce the number of HIV infections in the region, it is more important that the UN be able to quell violence and discrimination against women and gay men, with him stating that discrimination and violence against these groups are a far more dangerous epidemic than HIV itself.