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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica AIDS Support for Life says gender-based violence (GBV) or its threat is likely to increase a woman’s vulnerability to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by making it difficult or impossible to set the terms of an equal relationship.
  • According to Research and Communications Coordinator at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Nicolette Jones, it is more difficult for women to refuse sex when in an abusive relationship, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom.
  • Ms. Jones pointed out that the correlation between GBV and HIV is not always clear and so it is often difficult to access funding for GBV, especially within the context of HIV.

Jamaica AIDS Support for Life says gender-based violence (GBV) or its threat is likely to increase a woman’s vulnerability to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by making it difficult or impossible to set the terms of an equal relationship.

According to Research and Communications Coordinator at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Nicolette Jones, it is more difficult for women to refuse sex when in an abusive relationship, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom.

“Gender-based violence is about power control. You are controlling the person at almost every level and controlling their sexual activity and the kinds of sexual activities they are having,” she pointed out in an interview with JIS News.

“One of our clients, her boyfriend knows that she is (HIV) positive but to get her upset or to be in control of how she is behaving, (he) purposefully has unprotected sex with her because he knows it will be disconcerting to her,” she shared.

Ms. Jones pointed out that the correlation between GBV and HIV is not always clear and so it is often difficult to access funding for GBV, especially within the context of HIV.

Through projects funded by the United Nations (UN) Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life has been training community persons to educate their peers about abuse, how to recognise the signs and access available assistance.

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on Wednesday (November 25), a silent protest will be staged in the vicinity of the Half-Way Transport Centre to bring awareness that only 25 per cent of cases of sexual violence are reported in Jamaica, while 75 per cent go unreported.

“We also want to increase awareness that if you are sexually abused, you do have access to post-exposure prophylaxis, a pill that mitigates against contracting HIV, if the person is positive,” Ms. Jones explained.

She further informed that on World AIDS Day on December 1, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life will be placing focus on St. James, which has the highest prevalence rate for HIV in Jamaica.

The day’s activities will include vigils in the parish and Kingston.