This is about providing women and girls globally with scientific leadership helping them protect themselves against HIV/AIDS STDs and unplanned pregnancies while promoting safe motherhood.
Facts on the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Women and Girls
Women and young girls in Zimbabwe, India, Peru and other developing countries are the most vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and the HIV contagion sweeping the developing world. The statistics are staggering. Among adolescents, teenage girls are infected at a rate five to six times greater than their male counterparts.
In some regions, one woman in five in her early 20s is infected with the virus - a large proportion of these young women will not live to see their 30th birthday. At the end of 1999, an estimated 13.2 million children under age 15 lost their mothers, or both parents, as a result of AIDS. Simply being married can be a huge risk factor for infection among women.
The primary reason for this enormous discrepancy in infection rates between men and women is gender inequity in social and economic status. The story of young girls trading sex in return for material favors to survive is a common reality in many regions. In order to reverse the tide of HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections, and make significant and sustained advances in the reproductive health of women worldwide, health programming must attend to the status of women and girls in society.
WGHI's Current and Future Research Projects
In to order to redress the gender imbalance that leads to negative health outcomes, it is necessary to expand and research innovative programming directed at addressing the health status of women and girls. WGHI is conducting ground-breaking research in several areas.