Should The Hiv / Aids Epidemic?

918 Words Jun 10th, 2015 4 Pages
Should the HIV/AIDs epidemic in Africa be described as a feminist issue? With higher transmission rates concentrated among African women, and the vast majority of new mother-child transmissions occurring within African countries, HIV seemingly fits into the scope of feminist concerns. As described in Oppong and Kalipeni’s contribution to Kalipeni, et.al.’s HIV & AIDS in African: Beyond Epidemiology, the consistent classifying of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as being the direct result of distinct African sexuality by prominent media outlets has led to detrimental and widespread ignorance on the effects that colonialism has had on accelerating the rates of transmission. The historiography of HIV and AIDS as the result of ‘native’ sexual consequences has not only perpetuated the stereotype of the overly sexual African. It seems that the latent implication within the past general consensus that the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa is distinct because of African sexuality is that its distinctiveness derives from the distinctiveness of African women’s sexuality. Thus, it again seems fair to associate the HIV/AIDS epidemic with feminism.

However, the sexual transmission of HIV and the later development of AIDS cannot be analysed solely through the lenses of reproductive organs. African women do not contract HIV at high rates due to their sexual organs, and penises do not better protect males from transmission. In addition, the transmission of HIV by sexual intercourse has often been…

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