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  1. 1
    279857

    Ensuring equitable access to antiretroviral treatment for women. WHO / UNAIDS policy statement.

    World Health Organization [WHO]; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2004. 6 p.

    WHO and UNAIDS are actively promoting the scale-up of programmes to deliver antiretroviral therapy (ART), with the aim of reaching three million people by the end of 2005 ('3 by 5 Initiative'). Equity in access to HIV treatment is a critical element of the '3 by 5' and will contribute to the broader 'right to health' for all. Attention must therefore be given to ensuring access to ART and other treatment, care and prevention, for people who risk exclusion including on the basis of their sex. Currently there is limited information available on the sex and age distribution of those receiving ART, however, we know that gender-based inequalities often affect women's ability to access services. Attention is therefore required to ensure that women and girls have equitable access to ART as it becomes available. Gender-based inequalities put women and girls at increased risk of acquiring HIV. Women's limited ability to negotiate safer sex practices with their partners, including condom use, can place even women who are faithful to one partner at risk of HIV infection. Married adolescent girls may be particularly vulnerable. Sexual violence, including rape, likewise increases the risk of HIV for women and girls. In addition, they typically have less access to education, income-generating opportunities, property ownership and legal protection than men. This means many women are not able to leave relationships even when they know that they may be at risk of HIV. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    182223
    Peer Reviewed

    Applying an equity lens to child health and mortality: more of the same is not enough.

    Victora CG; Wagstaff A; Schellenberg JA; Gwatkin D; Claeson M

    Lancet. 2003 Jul 19; 362(9379):233-241.

    Gaps in child mortality between rich and poor countries are unacceptably wide and in some areas are becoming wider, as are the gaps between wealthy and poor children within most countries. Poor children are more likely than their better-off peers to be exposed to health risks, and they have less resistance to disease because of undernutrition and other hazards typical in poor communities. These inequities are compounded by reduced access to preventive and curative interventions. Even public subsidies for health frequently benefit rich people more than poor people. Experience and evidence about how to reach poor populations are growing, albeit largely through small-scale case studies. Successful approaches include those that improve geographic access to health interventions in poor communities, subsidised health care and health inputs, and social marketing. Targeting of health interventions to poor people and ensuring universal coverage are promising approaches for improvement of equity, but both have limitations that necessitate planning for child survival and effective delivery at national level and below. Regular monitoring of inequities and use of the resulting information for education, advocacy, and increased accountability among the general public and decision makers is urgently needed, but will not be sufficient. Equity must be a priority in the design of child survival interventions and delivery strategies, and mechanisms to ensure accountability at national and international levels must be developed. (author's)
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