Intended for healthcare professionals


AIDS: “Harmful” gender inequalities and norms are holding back the end of the pandemic

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 29 November 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2893
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

A “feminist route map” is the only effective course to ending the AIDS pandemic, according to a report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) which said that gender inequalities and harmful gender norms are currently standing in the way.1

The annual report warned that the global AIDS response has been “pushed badly off track” with new infections rising in many parts of the world and declines in new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths notably slowing. It said resources have “stagnated at levels that are wholly inadequate to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.”

In 2021, 650 000 people died of AIDS related causes—more than one person every minute—while 1.5 million people newly acquired HIV.

The report found that in areas of high HIV burden, women subjected to intimate partner violence faced up to a 50% greater chance of acquiring HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa, women accounted for 63% of …

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