|New Leadership at UNAIDS|
The Lancet Volume 372, Issue 9654, December 6, 2008
I write on behalf of the Working Group of the With Women Worldwide Compact to End HIV/AIDS. The Compact is an action agenda designed to compel the policy changes needed to prevent increasing HIV infection in women and young people, and ensure equitable access to treatment, care, and support. It is backed by more than 300 individuals and organisations representing global and local leaders in HIV/AIDS, people living with HIV/AIDS, human rights advocates, women and youth leaders, sexual and reproductive rights and health organisations, and faith-based organisations.
As HIV infections in young people and women continue to rise, we look to UNAIDS leadership to ensure full implementation of UNAIDS's Programme Coordinating Board recommendation that women's and girls' inequality be addressed as a driver of the epidemic. In this regard, sexual and reproductive rights and health must be central to a comprehensive response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Thus, the new Executive Director should prioritise: the hiring of staff, consultants, and advisers with expertise in women's and young people's health and rights; clear objectives for achieving gender equality; open, transparent interactions with a broad range of civil society constituencies, including women living with HIV/AIDS and women's organisations; and the implementation of a comprehensive approach to prevention, treatment, and care for women and girls.