Intended for healthcare professionals

This Week In The Bmj

Women's empowerment may improve HIV prevention

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 29 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:0-e

Systematic efforts to increase women's economic, social, and political empowerment must be supported as key components of a comprehensive strategy to fight AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, where women account for 57% of adults with AIDS, argue Kim and Watts (p 769). In some countries, a woman only recently ceased to become a property of her husband's family after his death. Also, refusing sex, inquiring about other partners, or suggesting condom use is known to trigger intimate partner violence. Broader social forces stand in the way of ensuring adequate HIV prevention, say the authors. On p 708, Simwaka and colleagues say the millenium development goals will not be achieved until urgent action is taken to improve sex equality.

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