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Health4Women is a project of the Anova Health Institute that is dedicated to promoting access to relevant, competent and unprejudiced health services to women who have sex with women (WSW) without prejudice or discrimination in the public health sector, in partnership the Department of Health.

Health4Women also produces and disseminates HIV prevention messaging for WSW and is supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, through Right to Care.

Sitting in your symptoms

If you saw a child crying in pain, you probably wouldn’t shove a sock in its mouth or put earplugs in your ears to block out its cries – well, at least, I hope you wouldn’t.   But, that’s pretty much what you do whenever you pop a painkiller.   When you take a painkiller it doesn’t take away the pain; it just makes your brain deaf and dumb to it.  If you have a headache caused by dehydration or... Read More

Tox shox

Tampons, hygiene, cotton, and boys with ‘toxic shock’. There’s stigma around toxic shock syndrome, and it isn’t doing anyone any favors. Toxic shock syndrome is often associated with tampon misuse or a lack of vaginal hygiene. But there is a lot more to this rare, yet extremely dangerous bacterial infection than is commonly understood.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the earliest cases of toxic shock syndrome involved women who used tampons. However, today less than half of... Read More

Two Women and a Baby

Health4Women shares the insights into two lesbian couples who adopted children. Ronel, who is in a same-sex relationship with Sonja, says they knew once they got married they wanted children. After all the paperwork and preparation was complete, they welcomed two girls into their family. What inspired you to adopt? Sonja and I have known each other for many years as we saw each other from time to time in the same circle of friends. It was very clear from... Read More

The South African Constitution has a Bill of Rights that protects all people. The rights to life, dignity, privacy, freedom and others.

Women are protected by the full range of rights guaranteed in the new Constitution, but they receive specific protection in section 9, entitled “Equality”. It says:

“The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.”

Read about your rights here.

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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is very common in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 35 in South Africa. Although breast cancer is mainly found in women, some men also develop breast cancer, although it is 100 times less common.

Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths has been declining thanks to a number of factors such as earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.

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Understanding Sexual Violence

In many parts of the world, especially in Africa, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people face hostility, discrimination and danger. Although the South African constitution clearly condemns discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, many LGBTI people in South Africa continue to face severe discrimination and victimisation on a daily basis.

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Safer Sexual Practices

Women who have sex with women (WSW) are generally at very low risk of HIV infection whereas bisexual women are at higher risk. Sex between two women is not always safe, and WSW are just as vulnerable to certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as women who have sex with men. It is important for women to know the risks and how to protect themselves.

click here safer sex practical tips

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths of women on the African continent. One in 42 women in South Africa get cervical cancer which, after breast cancer, is the second most common cause of cancer amongst South African women.

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Have you ever been screened for HIV or other STIs?

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