Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the XIX Int'l AIDS Conference -Washington DC (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Women are still bearing the burden of HIV/AIDS. We make up more than one half of the 34 million adults living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. We have a responsibility to join with all women globally to ensure that policy is shifted toward making prevention practices, education and equitable health care available to all demographics.
In many countries women are not able to negotiate condom use. Biologically women are twice more likely to become infected with HIV through unprotected heterosexual intercourse. We must engage and share the stories of those who are living with HIV/AIDS. We must engage our children in the conversation and educate them. We all have a role to play in 'turning the tide' for our adolescent girls. There is a persistent increased rate of infection among adolescents, particularly girls. In 2011 among the 2.2 million adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, 1.3 million were girls.
As mothers, we must take the opportunity to talk with our children about the dangers of engaging in unprotected sexual activity. Even though we prefer that they abstain from sexual activity, we must allow good sense to prevail and educate them. By educating them, we empower them to make smart, safe decisions. Be engaged, be supportive and be one with our sisters globally as we work towards an AIDS free generation.