The maternal mortality ratio is unacceptably high in Africa. Forty per cent of all pregnancy-related deaths worldwide occur in Africa. On average, over 7 women die per 1,000 live births. About 22,000 African women die each year from unsafe abortion, reflecting a high unmet need for contraception. Contraceptive use among women in union varies from 50 per cent in the southern sub-region to less than 10 per cent in middle and western Africa" UNFPA

Early and unwanted childbearing, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pregnancy-related illnesses and deaths account for a significant proportion of the burden of illness experienced by women in Africa. Gender-based violence is an influential factor negatively impacting on the sexual and reproductive health of one in every three women. Many are unable to control decisions to have sex or to negotiate safer sexual practices, placing them at great risk of disease and health complications.

According to UNAIDS, there is an estimated of 22.2 million people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan African in 2009, which represents 68% of the global HIV burden. Women are at higher risk than men to be infected by HIV, their vulnerability remains particulary high in the Sub-Saharan Africa and 76% of all HIV women in the world live in this region.

In almost all countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, the majority of people living with HIV are women, especially girls and women aged between 15-24. Not only are women more likely to become infected, they are more severely affected. Their income is likely to fall if an adult man loses his job and dies. Since formal support to women are very limited, they may have to give up some income-genrating activities or sacrifice school to take care of the sick relatives.

For more information on HIV/AIDS and Reproductive health, please visit the following websites:

Source: UN News Centre
The United Nations agency charged with gender equality and women’s empowerment today presented concrete areas of focus and goals for the three-day, high-level meeting on AIDS which begins at UN Headquarters tomorrow.

Source:UN News Center
The Security Council today underlined the continuing need for urgent and coordinated global action to curb the impact of HIV and AIDS in conflict and post-conflict situations, while recognizing the important role United Nations peacekeeping operations can play in responding to the epidemic.

Source: Guardian
The long line of women, with babies strapped to their backs and young children by their sides, suddenly rush forward when the motorbike pulls up in the grounds of Garzon village school, about an hour and a half's drive from the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

Source: Plus News
It is three decades since the first HIV case was reported and in that time, an estimated 30 million people have died, another 34 million are living with the virus and an estimated 7,000 new infections occur every day.

Source: PlusNews
That young people are particularly vulnerable to HIV and AIDS is well established, but a new report reveals for the first time new data on HIV prevalence in this group, which accounts for almost half of new adult infections globally.

Source: UNAIDS
Joint publication by UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, ILO, WHO and The World Bank presents data on adolescents and HIV for the first time. Every day, an estimated 2 500 young people are newly infected with HIV,  according to a global report on HIV prevention launched today.

Source: IRIN News
Nonqaba Jacobs, 28, comes from a rural community outside East London; both parents were HIV-positive and she tested positive in 2004. In 2005 she moved to Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, where she found treatment and attitudes towards HIV to be a world away from what she experienced in the Eastern Cape. These days she is doing well, but is worried about her mother, who has gone off her antiretrovirals in favour of "faith healing" at the Christ Embassy church.

Source: UNAIDS
As the AIDS response reaches a critical turning point, world leaders are showing renewed commitment to AIDS as more than 30 Heads of State and Government and Vice Presidents are expected to convene at next week's UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. The top level support is coming at a decisive moment in the AIDS response as more people than ever before are living with HIV but international funding for AIDS is seen to be declining.

Source: All Africa
KENYA IS set to unveil a new medical compound that block HIV transmission in women and young girls after the successful completion of trials.

Source: OHCHR
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, praised the Ghanaian Government's commitment to realizing the right to health. However, at the end of his first visit to the country, he underscored key challenges in the areas of maternal mortality, mental health and adequate funding.

Source: Independent Online
Relatives of two woman who died in childbirth launched a landmark lawsuit against the Ugandan government Friday to highlight the failure to provide adequate maternal healthcare.

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