Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Violence against women and HIV

Numerous studies from around the globe confirm the links between violence against women and HIV. These studies show that women living with HIV are more likely to have experienced violence, and that, women who have experienced violence are more likely to have HIV infection.

From 27-29 October the World Health Organization (WHO), on behalf of the UNAIDS family, convened a working group of experts and practitioners to review evidence around the links between violence against women and HIV, as well as programmatic interventions and strategies which address the intersections of violence and HIV. The aim of the meeting was to make policy and programmatic recommendations for national and international AIDS programmes as well as to develop an agenda for future programme development, evaluation and research efforts based on a review of evidence from different interventions.

The meeting was part of UNAIDS efforts to operationalize the Joint Action for Results: the UNAIDS Outcome Framework, which includes violence against women and girls as one of its nine priority areas.

Violence and HIV
According to a 2006 report by United Nations Secretary-General one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, usually by someone known to her.

Violence and the threat of violence dramatically increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV by making it difficult or impossible for women to abstain from sex, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom. The risk of HIV transmission increases during violent or forced-sex situations as the abrasions caused through forced penetration can facilitate entry of the virus.

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