|Call to Commitment on HIV/AIDS Asks More for Women|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 2008, NEW YORK, NY— The UNAIDS Report released on Tuesday once again underplays high levels of infection in women and fails to make women’s health and human rights central to the action agenda.
“By omission and commission, the 2008 report downplays what should have been a central headline: more women than men are living with HIV/AIDS in Africa and HIV/AIDS is relentlessly increasing in women—especially young women—everywhere else,” said Adrienne Germain, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition. “This report reveals the failure of HIV/AIDS leadership and policymakers to address women’s and girls’ vulnerability.
“Over three billion women worldwide are HIV-negative. They have the right to stay negative. Failure to protect girls’ and women’s rights, including their right to health and a life free of coercion and violence, fuels the pandemic. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and education, and protection of sexual and reproductive rights, is more important than ever.”
As HIV/AIDS experts, advocates and policymakers meet in Mexico next week for the XVII International AIDS Conference, global leaders on women’s health and rights call on them to empower women and young people to stay HIV-negative:
The Call to Commitment, issued today by the With Women Worldwide Compact to End HIV/AIDS, reflects the growing realization that gender inequality and discrimination against women and girls is not adequately addressed by policies, programs or budgets. The Compact is supported by nearly 300 organizations, most in the developing world, where the majority of HIV infections occur.