Sunday November 29, 2015
African women are on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS
more stories from this episode
- Maybe the organizers of the Munk Debates just don't know it's 2015? - Michael's essay
- Is Islam a religion of peace?
- The refugee crisis is Europe's moral obligation
- Do trigger warnings create a safe space for students, or coddle them? - a Frank Faulk documentary
- African women are on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS
- Full Episode
Although the African AIDS epidemic no longer makes the headlines, tens of millions are still living with HIV, and many more are at risk of infection. A disproportionate number of those affected are young women and children. In some countries, girls are more than five times more likely than boys to become HIV positive.
Across the continent, women run clinics and community outreach centres, and provide education and health care delivery. They lead campaigns against sexual violence, and try to reach the tens of millions who are carrying the virus and don't even realise they are infected.
A young woman encouraged her to join South Africa's AIDS Treatment Action Campaign, which Stephen Lewis calls the preeminent organization fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Ms Dubula became a volunteer. She rose through the ranks from receptionist to national leader. She has also held key positions on numerous national and international organizations, and is a member of the South African National AIDS Council. Currently she sits on the TAC board, is doing her PHD and is the mother of two HIV negative children.
In Kenya, Dorothy Onyango tested positive twenty five years ago and was told she had six months to live. She defied the odds, and with $500 dollars of WHO money and a tiny group of HIV positive women, she got "Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya" up and running.
She too has held numerous important leadership positions. She is on Kenya's National Council for Children's Services, and she is a Chairperson of the Pan African Positive Women's Coalition.
Ms Onyango and Dubula are in Canada to speak at The Ask Her Talks sponsored by the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and they spoke with Michael about their work.