In our world today, data shows that over half of the people living with HIV are females.
And the numbers continue to grow. As of 2019, the UNAIDS statistics revealed about 1.7 million people were HIV positive during the period under study.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, out of every five new HIV infections, one happens among adolescent girls and women.
In a recent 2021 world population report titled “My Body Is My Own” by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), it estimated that 50 adolescent girls die every day from AIDS-related deaths.
However, what seems to be the contributing factors which render females more vulnerable to HIV infection include:
- lack of access to education
- lack of access to healthcare
- gender inequality
- GBV and intimate partner violence
- the sugar daddy culture
- child marriage where 12 million girls are wedded before the age of 18
- transactional sex
HIV seems undefeatable and has been hanging around since before Covid-19. With new technologies, progress are being made and innovations like the DPV-VR might bring HIV infections to its knees especially for females.
As part of the list of pre-qualification medicines authorized for HIV prevention, WHO included the DPV-VR technology in November 2020.
In addition to Antiretroviral Treatment (ART), usage of a condom, PREP, and PEP, the DPV-VR is an initiated option to reduce the risk of HIV infection among females.
HOW THE HIV DPV-VR WORKS
Designed for the vagina, the ring is to be worn inside. The ring inside the vagina then releases antiretroviral drugs for a period of 28 days and should be replaced with a new one afterwards.
Currently, the ring is still under further research to include contraceptives, and to prevent unintended pregnancies alongside HIV prevention.
In as much as it protects females from unwanted pregnancies, and prevention of STDs, the sole aim is to support women and girls in our communities and not to promote rape.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.