World Health Organization Releases Report on Joint Prevention of Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 12:50 PM

The World Health Organization, with support and funding from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, has issued a new report detailing the link between violence against women and HIV/AIDS.

The report states that the link between violence against women and HIV/AIDS is complex and involves multiple pathways such as women sometimes acquire HIV/AIDS through violence and violence can also be a consequence of having HIV/AIDS. Sexual assault or rape is one possible way in which violence can be the cause of direct infection. Evidence demonstrates that both problems intersect in a number of more indirect ways as well, in that gender inequality and violence contribute to an environment in which women are unable to protect themselves and are thus significantly more vulnerable to HIV infection.

In addition to emphasizing joint intervention, the report also stresses the importance of addressing all affected populations with intervention and prevention endeavors, although the specific focus of the work was on intimate partner violence, sexual violence against women and girls, and HIV.

Recommendations provided in the report include a call for more local and national plans promoting gender equality, increasing the number and size of effective programs, increasing access to quality post-rape care, programming that addresses the specific needs and situations of prostituted women, evaluating current strategies to build a larger evidence base, and researching other possible links.

Compiled from: Adressing Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS: What Works?, World Health Organization,, (7 September 2010).