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Both, But Women Need More Control

Posted by nthielman on 08 Sep 2008 at 13:51 GMT

The authors welcome this discussion. The spread of HIV in this region is dependent on the sexual activity of both men and women, and so is its prevention. It's therefore reasonable to aim for the equal empowerment of both men and women to use any and all prevention methods available.
For decades, efforts to educate and empower men to use condoms have been central to global HIV prevention strategies, and such efforts should continue. In sub Saharan Africa, however, many women, disadvantaged by less education and wealth, are ill-equipped to demand their sexual partners use condoms. Moreover, as our data highlight, simply ‘being faithful’ does not provide adequate risk reduction. We conclude that women should be equipped with better tools to control their own risk of acquiring HIV infection. Safe, effective, and socially acceptable microbicides might be one such tool.