Help the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa-Cameroon (SWAAC) provide 250,000 free female condoms - the only woman-controlled method that protects against both HIV and pregnancy - to women in poor, isolated areas in Cameroon, West Africa. SWAAC is the sole local health and human rights organization that distributes female condoms for free, and is a partner of the International Women's Health Coalition.
52% of the world's people who have HIV are women, and 76% of HIV positive women live in sub-Saharan Africa. In Cameroon, where HIV is transmitted most often through heterosexual intercourse, young women aged 15 to 24 are three times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts. Because young women lack knowledge about their bodies and do not have access to basic health services, they are particularly vulnerable to HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy.
SWAAC trains 4,500 volunteers, religious and ethnic leaders, and traditional healers to promote and distribute female condoms across Cameroon. SWAAC leads workshops in villages only reachable by foot, and works with vulnerable groups including women refugees, women living with disabilities, and women in prisons where rape by male guards is common. Female condoms, which are inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse, empower women to take control of their bodies and reproductive health.
Female condoms give women in Cameroon the opportunity to live healthier longer lives, free from HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy. When women are healthy and can choose how many children to have, they become vital members of their community - they finish school, start businesses, care for their families, and contribute to a more peaceful, prosperous economy.
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