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Women Living with HIV and AIDS in Africa: A Look at the Challenges

To help further Duquesne University's strategic goal of placing an emphasis on Africa, the Center for African Studies, in collaboration with the Rev. Pierre Schouver, C.S.Sp., Endowed Chair in Mission, will present Women and HIV/AIDS: Cultural Challenges and Transformation in Contemporary East Africa.

The presentation and following reception, which are free and open to the public, will be on Monday, March 24, at 4 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom.

The event will feature Mary N. Getui, chairperson of Kenya's National AIDS Control Council and professor at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Getui will discuss the impact-social, economic, political and spiritual-HIV and AIDS have had on African society, especially women.

Dr. Gerald Boodoo, director of Duquesne's Center for African Studies, said that nearly 60 percent of adults living with HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are women, and they represent 75 percent of all women worldwide living with the disease. "HIV and AIDS have affected women in Africa to a greater extent and made it even harder for them to address the demand placed upon them as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and caretakers," he explained.

Getui understands these issues both as an African woman and as one in charge of the Kenyan government's efforts to address the problems associated with HIV and AIDS. "In addition, having a career as a university professor gives her the ability to look at this issue with a critical lens and studied clarity," Boodoo said. "Her observations will give realistic insights into how HIV and AIDS are transforming the social contexts for women in Eastern Africa."

Esther Acolatse, assistant professor of the practice of pastoral theology and world Christianity, Duke Divinity School, will respond to Getui's presentation with God, Where Are You? Pastoral Theological Reflections on Job and the Question of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

More information is available by emailing africanstudies@duq.edu.

Duquesne University

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