Disability and HIV/AIDS in Rural Cameroon
The relationship between HIV/AIDS and disability is a cause for concern as persons with disabilities are often at higher risk of exposure to HIV. Additionally, there is a growing understanding that persons living with HIV/AIDS are also at risk of becoming disabled on a permanent or episodic basis as a result of their condition. Like any other person, persons with disabilities require information on HIV/AIDS and access to programs, services, and resources.
In our respective communities today, the situation of persons with disabilities is further compounded by societal barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society, including access to education. Despite the growing relationship between HIV/AIDS and disability, persons with disabilities have not received sufficient attention within national and community responses to HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, existing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programs generally fail to meet their specific needs.
Persons with disabilities are often excluded from HIV education, prevention and support services because of assumptions that they are not sexually active or do not engage in other risk behaviors such as drug use. Women and girls with disabilities are especially vulnerable to sexual assault or abuse which leaves them at a higher risk of HIV, amplified by gender inequality.
Persons with disabilities are seldom recognized as a group to be included in the national response to HIV/AIDS. Integrating their specific needs is a crucial component to mitigate the worsening condition of persons with disabilities. The failure to understand and provide essential information to persons with disabilities concerning HIV/AIDS, results in their increasing marginalization.
Access to HIV and AIDS care: Young people living with disabilities still left behind
Yong people living with disabilities are at a higher risk of HIV infection than the rest of the community for several reasons: poor access to information and services related to sexual and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS; poor access to health care; poverty and marginalization; and high rates of sexual abuse and exploitation. Despite these increased risk factors, persons with disabilities are hardly being included in mainstream HIV and AIDS policies and programs – and are still left behind.
Empowering Young People Living with Disability To Champion Community Actions For Human Right and Sustainable Development
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 03 December, 2017
In collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, and The Presbyterian Community Rehabilitation Center, Young people living with disability in Kumba joint the global community to celebrate the 26th edition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The celebration was marked by activities carried out from the 26 November, to the 17 December, 2017. All programs and activities were fully inclusive, focusing on braking cultural and social barriers preventing people from accessing HIV services.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was therefore another huge opportunity for Living Green Cameroon, partners and young people living with disabilities to team up create awareness, break barriers and build bridges toward a world where no one is left behind under the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies for all”. Our activity to mark this year’s celebration let by young people help amplified the voice of young people living with disabilities toward a common future.