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HIV Prevention Must Include Economic Empowerment Of Women

“Transactional sex, sexual intercourse driven by material exchanges,” occurs worldwide, but “[i]n poor regions with high HIV prevalence rates like sub-Saharan Africa … transactional sex poses an even higher threat to one’s wellbeing and health because the chance of HIV infection is greater,” Daniella Choi, staff member at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, writes in CSIS’ Commission on Smart Global Health Policy blog. “In addition to the existing HIV/AIDS interventions such as behavioral change, contraceptive promotion, and ARV treatments, a renewed focus on economic empowerment is necessary. When women are financially independent, the need to use sex as currency or tolerate sexual infidelity is reduced,” she writes (8/10).