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”, developed by Gestos in partnership with the Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM- Argentina), Fundación Popular Salud (EPES – Chile) and IWHC partnerSalud Mujer in Uruguay (MYSU). It will be presented at an upcoming event bringing together women living with HIV, activists, health professionals and AIDS program managers AIDS in the nine northeastern of Latin America.
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 over the past 6 years. These murders are frequently at the hands of intimate partners.
According to recent data, 10 women were murdered daily in Brazil, from 1997 to 2007, totaling 41,532 murder victims for a rate of 4.2 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. In Europe, the murder rate for women is 0.5 per 100 000 inhabitants. In Pernambuco, 290 women were murdered in 2009. This corresponds to about four women every 5 days.
For a PDF version of the report (in Portuguese), click here.
For more on IWHc’s work in Brazil, click here.
To learn more about the efforts of our partner MYSU in Uruguay, click here.