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    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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