Study Reveals Girl War Survivors Vulnerable to HIV
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 5:15 PM

The International AIDS Conference in Mexico took place from 3 to 8 August 2008.  At this event, Plan, an international development agency that focuses on children in developing countries, presented a study revealing that girls who survived war were particularly vulnerable to HIV for a number of reasons.  According to the study, girls who were orphaned during a war and girls who were themselves abducted and involved in the actual combat struggle to feed themselves.  Faced with starvation, girls turn to one of the only options available:  unprotected sex with men who buy them for money.  This in turn, leads to increased vulnerability to HIV.  In addition, if a girl has a baby, the struggle to obtain enough food becomes even more difficult.  On top of the economic stressors, girl war survivors often have difficult psychological issues.      

Plan International uses counseling centers in war-torn regions to help address this dangerous situation.  Plan emphasizes that HIV infection not only negatively affects the health and well-being of individual girls, but also damages the ability of the region to develop economically.

To read the complete study, click here. (PDF 6 pages)

Compiled from“Girl war survivors vulnerable to HIV, reveals study,” Plan International, 31 July 2008.