chapter  4
11 Pages

HIV/AIDS and the Status of Women in Botswana

WithGwen N. Lesetedi

This chapter shows that the low socioeconomic status of women has contributed to the rapid spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Botswana. The transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) responsible for AIDS has reached alarming proportions in Botswana and there is little to indicate that the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is decreasing. There is a strong link between poverty and the spread of HIV. The low economic and social status of certain groups in society has contributed to the rapid spread of the virus. In Botswana, as elsewhere in the world, the majority of the women belong to this most vulnerable group. In the absence of a proven cure, it has been recognized that the most effective weapon against AIDS is risk prevention education. For such education to be effective in curbing the disease in Botswana it will have to recognize the socioeconomic and cultural determinants of both the disease and sexual behavior.