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Monday, March 08, 2004

Women's Day and HIV/AIDS
Today is International Women's Day.

The World Health Organisation has decided to mark this occasion by discussing the need to combat gender inequality in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Biologically, economically, socially + culturally, women are more vulnerable to infection than men, due to factors such as financial dependence on men, physical + sexual abuse from partners, and the fact that it is acceptable for men to have multiple partners.

In sub-Saharan Africa, young women aged 15-24 are up to 2.5 times more likely to be infected than men belonging to the same age group. This, and similar statistics, led Dr Lee Jong-wook, WHO Director-General to say that "In too many places women have fewer legal rights than men, and less access to education, training and paid work" and that in future "Health interventions for HIV/AIDS should promote equitable access for women to information, treatment, care and support."

You can find out more about HIV/AIDS by visiting UNAIDS homepage or the 3 by 5 Initiative's site, which aims to help ensure that 3,000,000 people living with AIDS are being treated by 2005.