Policy ForumHIV/AIDS

Gender Inequities Must Be Addressed in HIV Prevention

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Science  09 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5988, pp. 145-147
DOI: 10.1126/science.1193794

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Worldwide, in excess of 34 million people are living with HIV, with at least 2.7 million new infections occurring annually. For new infections, 71% occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite success in expanding treatment, fewer than one in eight people with HIV throughout the world are on antiretroviral therapy (1). The expansion of treatment programs is far from keeping pace with increasing numbers of people infected and the changing recommendations for eligibility. Recent failures have shown that avenues of science in which so many hopes have been vested may not provide the key to HIV prevention, at least not in the short and medium term. So the challenge is to deepen our understanding of drivers of the epidemic in different populations and develop a complex multifaceted prevention strategy to address them.