HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a deadly virus causing the non-curable and killer disease AIDS. Surveys have shown that nearly 20% of men worldwide are being infected by HIV. However, it has been found that most of them have been found to be either homo-sexual or bi-sexual. Such men have a higher risk of getting infected due to multiple intercourse links that has high chances of STD.
However, when it comes to taking preventive measures against HIV and care& support regarding the same, men fall behind women, though, men around the world, continue to wield the power in the majority of sexual relationships. The real reasons contributing to vulnerability of men to HIV have more to do with their attitudes regarding life, a few of which are below mentioned :
- Masculine ego –It is a man’s belief about their manhood that makes them take aggressive and uncontrolled steps towards sex. Men consider themselves to be the master of women, characterized by dominance, power and aggression, having an uncontrollable sexual need, multiple and often younger partners,consume excess alcohol, & get violent or intimidation to get what they want. Any thoughts of controlling these are considered womanly attitude or symbol of physical and mental weakness – something that is against the so called manliness.
- Less participation in caring and supportive activities – Men worldwide do not participate a lot when it comes to caring and supporting other people including children, orphans or downtrodden people suffering from AIDS. In fact they ostracize men who show somewhat compassion in this regard. Thus they never learn the art of dealing with HIV infected people and in the process get to know about the disease in details.
- Lack of urge towards preventive and curative steps – This has got a lot to do with the stereotype male dominated social structure that does not allow a man to show caring attitude towards taking actions. Gender stereotypes also act as a deterrent. Men showing emotion or those who look for medical assistance are often considered as unmanly or weak. This can have a devastating effect on the female partners who run high risk of getting affected by STD which eventually gets transferred to the child.
- Homosexuality – This is another major causative factor behind increasing rate of male HIV diseases. Men who have announced that they are gay men face social snubbing& a greater risk of violence, increasing their HIV risk as men tend to take lesser preventive measures. . The dangers associated with living as an openly gay man means that many Men don’t identify themselves as gay and often have female partners, in addition to their male partners. This increases the chances of getting infected very quickly.
Thus, we find that men by dint of their masculine ego, actually become an easy prey of the killer disease by becoming more vulnerable towards sexually transmitted diseases(STDs). This ultimately affects the female partner also and in the process, the man becomes responsible for not only his, but also his female partner’s state of illness. Thus it is high time that he must be more considerate and caring regarding such issues and realize that real masculinity lies in building up and not mutual destruction.