Source: AWID
More than 33 million adults are currently living with AIDS. Although HIV infection was initially concentrated in male populations, the proportion of women with HIV/AIDS has been increasing, with the most dramatic rise seen in developing nations. These are regions, not coincidentally, where women have very limited knowledge of the disease and effective precautionary measures. Societal misconceptions about the illness and limited access to medical resources exacerbate the situation.

Experience has shown that community-based AIDS projects that enhance the decision-making power of women - in partnership with men - work well to prevent the transmission of the virus and to enrich women's capacities to care for the people who are afflicted by it.

Comprehensive background information on the epidemic is combined with step-by-step training for community members and questionnaires dealing with common misconceptions about the illness lead to eye-opening statistics certain to stimulate discussion. Poignant case studies from various countries illustrate the dangers of limited knowledge. The manual also responds to the demand of HIV/AIDS gender-specific requirements by helping trainers enhance their understanding about the gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS, so that they can then effectively influence a critical mass of change makers in their "spheres of influence".

The training manual is an educational and inspiring stimulus to public health staff, educators, policy makers and anyone interested in projects being used to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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