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Issue Of Social Justice And Discrimination Among The Women Of Canada

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which affects the immunity system of the body and destroys the capacity of a person’s body to fight with the infection caused inside the body. There are three stage of HIV

  • Acute HIV Infection Stage: it is the initial stage of HIV under which a person is attacked with severe flu. It is better to start the treatment at this stage in order to have relatively less effect on heath.
  • Clinical Latency Stage: this is the second stage of HIV under which the cells reproduce inside the body without showing any symptoms outside the body.
  • AIDS: this is the last stage of the body under which the immune system of a person is badly affected and damaged. It is also the last stage of HIV (Edwards, & Collins, 2014).

According to the survey done in Canada, it has been noticed that from the past 30 years there has been an expanding growth of HIV positive patients. Also it has been noticed that around 24% of female in Canada have been diagnosed with HIV in body, in the current scenario (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2009). The main causes through which HIV particles are transmitted in the body of a female are by injecting drugs or heterosexual contacts. Social factors which affect this rate in Canadian women are due to poverty, violence; gender in equalities its (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2009).

In the country South Africa, there is high degree of prevalence of HIV Aids in women. Despite of having many kinds of action plan to remove such effect, the country is unable to stop the transmission of HIV. A research done by the government showed that around 37.1% of women in the country are attracted with this disease. And the age group of such women is between 26 to 36 years. The transmission of HIV in this is done due to migrations, heterosexual contacts or extra marital affair. The only way through which such emergence of HIV disease can be stopped is by educating people about this issue and asking them read for the ways through they can save themselves from such disease (NIH, 2012).

Basically in Canada there are mainly two reasons due to which there is such state of vulnerability among the women, and the reason are: Biological aspects and sexual violence. The ways through which this virus is transmitted in the country is through heterosexual contact and injecting drugs. As per the repost of Public Health Agency of Canada, an estimation of 23.2% women are caused by HIV every year, among which 79.2% women have transmitted it through physical contact and rest through injecting drugs (Zafer, 2016). Stigma and discrimination is faced by women in society because people think that female with HIV+ are impure and unclean. It is the negative attitude of people which creates stigma and discrimination society.

 

(Source: CDC, 2011)

In Canada one of the major social determinant due to which this problem is occurring in the country and mainly in women is social injustice happening in the country with them. Women are considered as the weaker section of the society, therefore they are unable to raise their voices in front of their partners. Their mind is majorly occupied with the thoughts of them being poor (regarded as internal stigma) resulting to which their livelihood depends on their partners only (Tomas, 2015). Thus, these women agree on whatever their partner asks them to do. Also another way to reduce the spread of this virus is through using protective pills or men using protections while contacting with their women. But, as noticed earlier that there is not social justice with the women in the country due to which they cannot ask their partners to take medication or seek medical care and women keep on ignoring their problems. Due to which one day such problems get a rise and such women have to unfortunately lose their life because of having HIV cells living inside their body and not having proper medication on time (Aids Network, 2015).

Issue Of Social Justice And Discrimination Among Women In South Africa

In South Africa the major reason of vulnerability among females is mainly due to poverty and gender inequality. Poverty is the major factor due to which any person affected with the disease is unable to cure themselves and they die. Thus it can be said poverty is the accelerating factor of ill health and diseases among women. Also it has been noticed that in Africa there is relatively greater degree of women affected by the HIV positive cells than men (Cutland 2015).

Gender discrimination with respect to the social determinant of HIV AIDS refers the cause due to which women in South Africa are unable to deny having sex or negotiating with male. They cannot even ask for having safe sex, as they are being ill-treated and beaten if the raise their voices against them. Due to such reasons risk of HIV is increasing among women. On looking after the stigma index study in south Africa, it can be said that 89% of respondents didn’t indicated about their HIV status to their partners because of the fact of poverty and discrimination in the society. People having the positive cells of HIV are being looked after as untouchables that if someone will touch them or will talk to them then will also get affected with this disease. Women stigmatize themselves by upholding negative thoughts in their mind spoken by people which leads to breakdown of their internal strengths (Tanser, 2013).

Gender and sexuality issue refers to the aspects which differentiate and men and a women in the society. Gender affects; sexuality, responsibilities, role, status etc. in a country. Initially a woman becomes vulnerable which she is affected with HIV positive cells, still women in Canada are being asked to hide their disease from anybody else. The reason for such activity is that they are being considered as the reproductive part in the society whereas male is the productive part, thus women shall not express their discomfort ad grief to anybody (Jewkes, & Morrell, 2010).

As there is flow of unequal power in the society resulting to the gender based violence with women. It includes acts of aggression (that are; beating women to satisfy ego), emotional, physical and psychological abuse etc. Also due to tradition of women not speaking about sexual health before marriage, lead them to hide their pain and they barred themselves from getting adequate knowledge about health education (Pharris 2016). Resulting to which, their risk of getting affected with this disease increased because in Canada women were not allowed to speak about such issue or seek help. The imagination of women in the case of sex is to give physical pleasure to their partner should be their top most priority. Due to this reason, they used to do activity in which they were uncomfortable. Not getting adequate information about heath issue along with major gender inequality are the reasons for the vulnerability of women in the country (Bor, 2013).

Gender And Sexuality Issues Acting As Social Determinant In Canada

In the country South Africa there is one man HIV positive for all three HIV positive women. Through this statement it can be easily understood that in South Africa also, women are leading in the rate of HIV positive people. All this happens due to lack of information among them. The social norms created in the society makes difficult for women to save themselves from the act which lead to HIV. As male is the suppressing section of the society due to which it is considered that a woman has to agree on all the terms of the man and have sexual contact with them irrespective of their health of age or any other issue (CDC, 2011).

 

(Source: NIH, 2012)

There is economic dependency of women on men in the society. Due to this dependency, men take advantage and control women. So in this way they exploit women and ill-treat them. along with this, women having HIV positive cells in their body are ordered to stay at home only, as it is perceived by the society that HIV is a transmitted by touching or living with the HIV positive patient. Thus, South Africa is regarded as one of the biggest country affect with such disease. Despite of many awareness programs, proper health education among women is still lacking behind (NIH, 2012).

Conclusion

Thus from the above scenario, it can be clearly seen that the state of women in both the countries (Canada and South Africa) is poor. Along with the issues like, social justice and gender inequality there are many other determinants which affect the state of  HIV positive women. In South Africa there is greater degree of women affected with this disease, there is a ratio of 1 men on 3 women in the country.

Furthermore in Canada, women usually keep quiet regarding their issue because of suffering with poverty. As poverty is already a major cause of concern in the country, and if people will get to know the HIV positive cells present in the body of a woman, then they will boycott her from the society and ill-treat her. In return results are shown that women do not prefer to share such information with anyone and bear the suffering of such disease alone. The government shall take initiative to spread awareness for the issue in the country.

References

Aids Network, (2015). Women and HIV in Ontario., viewed on July 30, 2017 from < https://www.aidsnetwork.ca/sites/default/files/WHAI%20fact%20sheet%20-%20Women%20and%20HIV%202015%20%282%29.pdf>

Bor, J., Herbst, A. J., Newell, M. L., & Bärnighausen, T. (2013). Increases in adult life expectancy in rural South Africa: valuing the scale-up of HIV treatment. Science, 339(6122), 961-965.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. (2011). Results of the Expanded HIV Testing Initiative--25 jurisdictions, United States, 2007-2010. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 60(24), 805.

Cutland, C. L., Schrag, S. J., Thigpen, M. C., Velaphi, S. C., Wadula, J., Adrian, P. V., ... & Madhi, S. A. (2015). Increased risk for group B streptococcus sepsis in young infants exposed to HIV, Soweto, South Africa, 2004–2008. Emerging infectious diseases, 21(4), 638.

Edwards, A. E., & Collins Jr, C. B. (2014). Exploring the influence of social determinants on HIV risk behaviors and the potential application of structural interventions to prevent HIV in women. Journal of health disparities research and practice, 7(SI2), 141.

Jewkes, R., & Morrell, R. (2010). Gender and sexuality: emerging perspectives from the heterosexual epidemic in South Africa and implications for HIV risk and prevention. Journal of the International AIDS society, 13(1), 6.

NIH., (2012). Who Is at Risk for HIV Infection and Which Populations Are Most Affected? , Viewed on July 30, 2017 from < https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hivaids/who-risk-hiv-infection-which-populations-are-most-affected>

Pharris, A., Quinten, C., Noori, T., Amato-Gauci, A. J., & van Sighem, A. (2016). Estimating HIV incidence and number of undiagnosed individuals living with HIV in the European Union/European Economic Area, 2015. Eurosurveillance, 21(48).

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2009). Population-specific HIV/AIDS Status Report: People from Countries where HIV is Endemic, Black People of African and Caribbean Descent Living in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada.

Tanser, F., Bärnighausen, T., Grapsa, E., Zaidi, J., & Newell, M. L. (2013). High coverage of ART associated with decline in risk of HIV acquisition in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Science, 339(6122), 966-971.

Tomas, K., Dhami, P., Houston, C., Ogunnaike-Cooke, S., & Rank, C. (2015). HIV in Canada: 2009 to 2014. Canada Communicable Disease Report, 41(12), 292.

Zafer, M., Horvath, H., Mmeje, O., van der Poel, S., Semprini, A. E., Rutherford, G., & Brown, J. (2016). Effectiveness of semen washing to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission and assist pregnancy in HIV-discordant couples: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fertility and sterility, 105(3), 645-655.

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