Today, women account for nearly half of the 40 million adults living with HIV in the world, and 59 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNAIDS, 2006). In other regions of the world, infection rates among young people, especially young women, are exponentially climbing. In parts of Sub-Saharan Africa women aged 20 to 24 are four times as likely as men in the same age group to become infected with HIV/AIDS and girls and women aged 15 to 19 are three times more likely.
Disproportionate infection rates are largely attributed to gender-based risks and vulnerabilities such as social-cultural norms, gender-based violence, denial of rights to property or inheritance, and lack of access to economic opportunities. HIV/AIDS is fueled by key economic, socio-cultural, legal, and physiological factors that are different for women and men. Addressing these inequalities with gender-specific policy will have huge implications not only in the spread of HIV/AIDS, but also for future economic growth and development.
International Networks and Websites on Gender and HIV/AIDS