Growing evidence shows that getting and keeping young people in school, particularly girls, dramatically lowers their vulnerability to HIV. By itself, merely attending primary school makes young people significantly less likely to contract HIV. When young people stay in school through the secondary level, education’s protective effect against HIV is even more pronounced. This is especially true for girls who, with each additional year of education, gain greater independence, are better equipped to make decisions affecting their sexual lives, and have higher income earning potential – all of which help them stay safe from HIV.
Higher education levels are also clearly correlated with delayed sexual debut, greater HIV awareness and knowledge about HIV testing sites, fewer sexual partners, higher rates of condom use, and greater communication about HIV prevention between partners – all factors that substantially lower HIV risk.
By providing young women with greater economic options and autonomy, education also affords them the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to make informed choices about how to delay marriage and childbearing; have healthier babies; avoid commercial sex and other risky behaviors; and gain awareness of their rights.
In sub-Saharan African and the Caribbean, young women account for 3 out of 4 of all 15-24 year olds living with HIV, and the number of young women living with HIV is rising in every region of the world. Despite some recent increases in overall school enrollment rates, and some encouraging progress toward gender parity in education in southern and eastern Africa,
gender disparities in education enrollment, retention, and completion remain high in many countries hardest hit by AIDS, mostly notably in South Asia and West Africa.
That’s why the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS has made education for girls a top priority. Given the importance of education as an HIV prevention strategy and the many barriers that young people, especially girls, face in getting and staying in school, this must become a true global priority. Education can protect girls from HIV Studies from around the globe show that HIV infection rates are at least twice as high among young people who do not finish primary school as those that do.
- A review of 113 studies from five continents found that teaching about AIDS in schools was effective in reducing early sexual activity and high-risk behavior.
- In a recent analysis of eight sub-Saharan African countries, women with eight or more years of schooling were up to 87% less likely to have sex before the age of 18 compared to women with no schooling.
- Evidence from Zimbabwe shows that among 15-18 year old girls, those who are enrolled in school are more than five times less likely to have HIV than those who have dropped out.
- Surveys in Haiti, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia have shown a strong link between higher education and fewer sexual partners.
- Recent household surveys (DHS) in 11 countries show that women with some schooling were nearly five times more likely than uneducated women to have used a condom the last time they had sex.
The latest from the GCWA
24 May, 2013|
Positioning Gender Equality and HIV as cornerstones of the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda
Positioning Gender Equality and HIV as cornerstones of the Post-2015 United
3 Mar, 2012|
It’s a pleasure for Rozaria Memorial Trust to be present here at the 56th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, in New York. Its an honour to be one of the rural women to speak out during this NGO Consultation Day, which is attended by over a thousand people including Nobel Laureate Lemma Gbowee and UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet. My name is Hilda Chitsanzara. I am 46 years old, married with 3 children and 2 grand children. I am a business woman who is into crafts, cross-border trading and run a small gold mine. I have only primary education.
24 Aug, 2011|
What Works for Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Interventions, now available at www.whatworksforwomen.org, is a comprehensive review of successful HIV programming for women and girls spanning data from more than 2,000 scientific articles and reports in nearly 100 countries. Published by the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, this valuable resource provides a centralized, searchable location for policymakers, donors, and program planners to review evidence of effective gender-specific programming. With scarce resources for HIV and AIDS programs—and a gro
8 Jun, 2011|
At the United Nations in New York, leader are gathering to chart the future of the global response to HIV.
10 Feb, 2010|
The overlap between injecting drug use and sex work is a driving force in the so-called “feminization” of Asia’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Between 70 and 80 percent of women injecting drug users (IDUs) are involved in some kind of sex work, according to Ratna Mardiati, a former director of the Drug Dependence Hospital (RSKO) in East Jakarta with 14 years’ experience dealing with injecting drug users. “They are not formal sex workers but they sell their bodies when they need money,” she says. Other sources of structural inequality, such as the gender wage gap — which sees Indonesian women earning on
2 Feb, 2010|
MANILA, Philippines—Years of public awareness campaigns on HIV-AIDS or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome have not diminished prevalent misconceptions about the virus or the ailment even among well-educated women, a recent government survey found. The 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) revealed that about two out of three women do not know that the HIV/AIDS virus can not be transmitted by sharing food with an HIV-positive person nor can it be transmitted through mosquito bites. The survey, which was conducted among women 15 to 49 years old, fo
1 Jan, 2010|
IPPF Happy, Healthy and Hot: A young person’s guide to their rights, sexuality and living with HIV
20 Dec, 2009|
WASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)--Ice was broken here in early December among three powerful groups of South Asian women. About 20 female parliamentarians, journalists and staff members of nonprofit groups in South Asia left Washington, D.C., with strategies they believed could reduce the current specter of women losing their homes after caring for spouses who died of AIDS, as well as aiding HIV-positive women who are unable to reach rural clinics and teens who aren't aware of how to prevent the infection. They were also carrying with them a loose agreement to work together within their region to sto
17 Nov, 2009|
CHANDIGARH: One may think that those residing in rural areas lack knowledge on HIV/AIDS. However, surprisingly, a major chunk of urban women know little on the disease which has become a world-wide threat.
7 Oct, 2009|
Men and Women in a marriage are expected to be faithful to each other. But is that the reality on the ground? Being faithful is just a fallacy among many men and women. Reports have shown that 40 to 60% of HIV positive persons have HIV negative spouses and these are at 10 to 12% HIV transmission risk per year (CeSSRA Public Lecture: March 6, 2009). More than 75% of Ugandans do not know their HIV status and only approximately 30% of couples have tested together.