Gender Aspects in HIV/AIDS Infection and Control in Kenya. Enos H.N. Njeru, Peter Mwangi & Mary N. Nguli. 42p.

NTHIA PROFNJERUEH. "Gender Aspects in HIV/AIDS Infection and Control in Kenya. Enos H.N. Njeru, Peter Mwangi & Mary N. Nguli. 42p.". In: Discussion Paper No. DP057/2004. IPAR Discussion Paper Series. ISBN 9966-948-77-5. African Wildlife Foundation. Nairobi; 2004.


Men are expected to be physically strong, robust, and daring, the world over.
Some of these expectations translate into attitudes and behaviours that become
unhelpful or lethal with the advent of AIDS. Others, to the contrary, represent
valuable potential that could be gainfully tapped by AIDS programmes for
enhanced effectiveness. Extra challenges for HIV prevention therefore arise
from societal expectations that allow men to take risks; have frequent sexual
intercourse (often with more than one partner) and exercise authority over
women. These expectations among others encourage men to force sex on
unwilling female partners and to reject condom use among other risky behaviours
regarding HIVIAIDS infection and prevention. Changing the commonly held
attitudes and behaviours should be part and parcel of the efforts to curb the
AIDS pandemic. On the other hand, due to their lack of social and economic
power, many women and girls are unable to negotiate relationships based on
abstinence, faithfulness and use of condoms. This paper points out these
inequalities and offers policy options that could reduce vulnerability of both men
and women to HIV/AIDS.
The data used in this presentation was obtained largely through desk review,
with limited primary data collected to supplement the secondary sources. The
study confirms the continuous spread of HIV/AIDS despite the government's
efforts to combat the pandemic and attributes the trends of prevalence and
infection to, among others: increase in cases of violence against women; negative
attitudes and socio-cultural practices; and power imbalances between men and
women. The study recommends: transformation of gender roles through gender
mainstrearning; policy shift primarily targeting men as the dominant sex in sexual
relations; law on prostitution to be enforced; those found guilty of crimes of
sexual violence to face very stiff penalties; laws should be enacted to facilitate
women's ownership ofland and other property; generate comprehensive gender
disaggregated data to help design better policies for addressing the gender gap.




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