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The impact of rape on woman’s health in South Africa Women, for ages now have been undermined and thrown under as a gender but things need to change and they will and have. In south Africa for instance compared to many other countries they are not treated equal to men. Only recently did they start to offer more education to women, and have women more involved in political issues but the violence against women is still high. Up to 70% of the female murder victims in south Africa are committed by an intimate partner. (Status of women and., 2015). One of the biggest issues that have to do with women is rape and this is a worldwide issue. Now of all of the countries one of the places that has the most rape cases yearly is south Africa, Nearly 53,617 Sexual offenses were reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in 2015 which is roughly 157 per day and that doesn’t even account for the cases that weren’t called in.
It is predicted that it can be upwards of 482,000 per year. (Jewkes et al, 1999). This in turn causes a huge increase in HIV/AIDS which is detrimental to the health of women in south Africa, especially because they do not have medication or a way to help themselves readily available. Rape also affects the mental health of women in ways that are very negative to their health. Half the people in the world living with HIV are in east and south Africa. (In South Africa,., 2017) and the reasons why are astounding. For instance, rape is happening at higher rates in south Africa then they are in other countries in the world and this is due to a chain effect of reasons. There is a low poverty level which leads to men not being able to provide for themselves or their family which in turn leads them to become very violent which is done against other men and has gotten to the point where it is against women too. Now looking at women they are more likely to become HIV positive not only by rape but because they are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse with much older men who are already HIV positive.
This will cause the rise of the HIV rates because now women instead of having sexual intercourse with people more close to their age and less likely to have the disease they are now engaging in this intercourse with older men because they are able to support them financially. This is nothing new in south Africa in fact it is known as having a “Blesser” the equivalent of a sugar daddy in the united states. (In South Africa,., 2017) For some time now we have always heard of the issued happening in south Africa, no matter where in the united states at some point in your life you have heard about HIV and how prominent it is in South Africa. The fact that we hear it over here shows that the word is getting out, the faster help will come and the means of protecting one’s self and health. Such organizations like People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) who push for women’s rights and a safe equal life to stop all forms of abuse to women. There so many more organizations that help with these similar issues like Shukumisa, Tears and Nissa Institute for Women’s Development. What these organizations have helped with is to make things much more beneficial to the women in south Africa by offering many ways to start dwindling down the percentage of people infected with HIV. One of the main ways this is being done is by educating women in HIV and what it can become and to make people aware of ways to prevent HIV with use of condoms and abstinence. This was being done on mainly younger women because the infection rates were higher with younger women. There has ale been other approaches that use medications such as PrEP.
This medication prevents the infection of HIV and kills it before it is able to enter the body but This is only being used mainly in trial efforts right now because the medication is very expensive and it also requires a daily dose like birth control. This makes it even harder for the drug to be administered so there is a medication in the works that will be an injection and will last for 8 weeks at a time. The goal in south Africa is to reach a universal goal of 90-90-90 in all countries in south Africa. The first goal of 90 is to reach 90% of people with HIV to know their status, then 90 percent of people who know their status are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and that 90 percent of the ones on ART reach viral suppression by 2020. “ In South Africa, 86 percent know their status; 65 percent are on ART and 56 percent on ART are virally suppressed, according to UNAIDS.” (In South Africa,., 2017). Now other than HIV women mental health on average plummets after being raped that this is for many reasons as one can imagine. One of the main mental health problem after rape for women is PTSD and it has been shown that a month after a women has been raped in south Africa 62.8% of the women show signs of depression and suicide. (Abrahams, Gevers. 2017) This in turn becomes an even bigger issue to the women because there is being little to nothing done to help the victms of rape, there is not much help for women after rape with their mental health.
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